Obama Makes Surprise Visit to Afghanistan

He will sign accord with Hamid Karzai, give speech from Kabul
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 1, 2012 2:05 PM CDT
Obama Arrives in Afghanistan
President Obama is greeted by Lt. Gen. Curtis "Mike" Scaparrotti, left, and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker, second left, as he steps off Air Force One at Bagram Air Field Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(Newser) – Under intense security and the cover of night, President Obama slipped into Afghanistan today to sign an agreement cementing a US commitment to the nation after the long and unpopular war comes to an end. Obama, who touched down at Bagram Air Field late at night local time, was to be on the ground for about seven hours. He will give a speech from Kabul at 7:30pm ET.

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Obama is joining Afghan President Hamid Karzai to sign the agreement that will broadly govern the US role in Afghanistan once the American combat mission stops at the end of 2014—13 years after it began. The president's speech will come exactly one year after special forces, on his order, began the raid that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. His overarching message will be that the war is ending on his watch but the US commitment to its ally is not. (Read more President Obama stories.)

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