I am proud to be leading the U.S. delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly meetings this week in Brussels. The purpose of our trip is to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to NATO's efforts in Afghanistan, where all 26 NATO member countries are supporting the alliance's efforts. We know al Qaeda is trying to re-form itself for a spring offensive in Afghanistan.

NATO allies also expect 2007 to be a critical year in Afghanistan with regard to momentum, which has been strong. There are now almost 2 million girls in school in Afghanistan, which they were not allowed to do during Taliban control of that country.

Unfortunately, there are many people in the U.S. and Europe who do not view Afghanistan and Iraq as two separate fronts. Regardless of any controversy in Europe or the United States about Iraq, Afghanistan is a completely different situation and one where the United States and NATO are more or less joined at the hip. We must make a success of Afghanistan.