'A crucible of terrorism'
KABUL: "A crucible of terrorism". That is how the prime minister describes the mountainous border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is a sign that he's following President Obama's lead in treating both countries as part of the same problem.
Today's visit to the region comes two days before Mr Brown will present to Parliament a new strategy for both Afghanistan and Pakistan. This morning, he met with military and political leaders in Helmand province before heading for talks with President Karzai in the Afghan capital, Kabul.
He believes that the big increase in troop numbers - particularly Americans - should be accompanied by the same strategy that succeeded in Iraq, namely: training a growing Afghan army and handing over control, province by province, to local leaders.
Of course, all of this will be in vain if the Taleban is simply able to cross the border into neighbouring Pakistan, a country which is now struggling to control its advance. Seven and a half years after the victory over the Taleban was declared, the prime minister's message here is that the fight is on - not in one country now, but in two.
Update 13:36: There are posters on the streets of the Afghan capital marking 28 April, the date that resistance troops entered the city in 1992.
At the news conference involving Gordon Brown and President Hamid Karzai, one questioner suggested that this was an ironic time to be boasting that more troops were coming to Afghanistan.
That, though, is precisely what is happening and all the signs are evident in Camp Bastian, the British base in the south of Afghanistan. A new runway is being built; a new air traffic control tower is already there and this base, for so long British, will soon have an American twang. There are currently 3,000 US marines there. It will soon be 10,000 - outnumbering the 8,000 British forces on the camp.
President Obama and Gordon Brown are committing resources here in the hope that an Iraq-style "surge" and an agreement to give control of provinces to local people will make the difference. After seven and a half years, there will be plenty of people who doubt whether this strategy will be any more successful than the last.