The mountains around Afghanistan dramatically pierce the clouds and inspire jaw gaping awe. Even in May, snow is generously sprinkled all over the peaks. The terrain is jagged and rough yet beautiful and calming: I cannot explain the complexity of the impact. It appears to be exactly the same as when Mogul Emperor Babur the Great traveled these mountainous routes. As you fly toward Kabul past Tora Bora and view the historic Hindu Kush, you easily comprehend how simple it must be to utilize this landscape to your advantage, especially if you know it through decades of experience. We land at the airport and are immediately asked to strap on the Kevlar vests and protective gear. I have been keenly interested in this trip. I hope to gain a better understanding of the challenges our country faces in supporting a strong, prosperous, and independent Afghanistan and how our Mission in New Delhi can work to assist in accomplishing these strategic goals. I met with the Indian Embassy to identify a few development programs that we might be able to work together on to achieve our common objectives. After several extremely helpful briefings at our Embassy and a brisk working lunch with Ambassador Eikenberry and Ambassador Prasad, we drive through the streets of Kabul for a meeting with government officials. Early in the evening, we take off in a small aircraft headed directly toward the snow capped mountains and slowly bank toward Pakistan.