Obama Makes Surprise Trip to Afghanistan
President meeting with Karzai, cabinet
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 28, 2010 11:18 AM CDT
President Barack Obama waves as he arrives on Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Thursday, March 25, 2010.   (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)
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(Newser) – President Barack Obama made a surprise visit to Afghanistan today for a firsthand look at the 8-year-old war he inherited and dramatically escalated. After an overnight flight from Washington, the president landed in Afghanistan for a stay of just a few hours, all in darkness. He flew by helicopter from Bagram Air Field to the capital, where he was meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who was notified about Obama's visit just an hour before he arrived.

It was Obama's second stop in a war zone as commander in chief, coming about a year after a similarly secretive trip to Iraq. This trip, its secrecy forced by security concerns, was an extraordinary capstone to a momentous week in Obama's presidency. Obama had left Friday for Camp David, where secret departures are easier because of its secluded mountain location. The White House allowed details of Obama's activities on the ground to be reported only after they were under way.