President Obama’s surprise trip to Afghanistan, vows to ‘finish the job’


President Barack Obama recognized the first anniversary of the death of a terror mastermind and enemy of the United States, Osama bin Laden, with an unannounced trip to Afghanistan on Tuesday, where he reiterated to U.S. troops at Bagram Air Base that they will not remain in the country “a single day longer” than necessary. “I could not be prouder of you,” the president told the troops. President Obama delivered his address to U.S. troops at the end of an unannounced visit to Afghanistan to sign a long-term partnership agreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the Strategic Partnership Agreement.

At the U.S. military base, Obama said, “We have traveled through more than a decade under the dark cloud of war. In the pre-dawn darkness of Afghanistan, we can see the light of a new day on the horizon.” The president said he remains committed to pulling 23,000 troops out of the country by the end of summer and sticking to the 2014 deadline to turnover full security measures to the Afghan government. “Some of your buddies are going to get injured. Some of your buddies may get killed. And there’s going to be heartbreak and pain and difficulty ahead. But there’s a light on the horizon because of the sacrifices you’ve made,” Obama told the troops. NATO will set a goal this month for Afghan forces to lead in combat operations next year. In the late night hours of Wednesday morning at the Bagram Air Base, President Obama delivered a speech and said, “We will not build permanent bases in this country, nor will we be patrolling its cities and mountains. That will be the job of the Afghan people.” In the president’s final words, he declared, “This time of war began in Afghanistan, and this is where it will end.”

Roughly two hours after President Obama and his elite security departed from Afghanistan, a powerful explosion rocked the capital city of Kabul, authorities reported. A suicide car bomb exploded outside the gates of Green Village, a compound that houses contractors and aid workers, killing at least seven people and wounding 17 others, according to the Afghan ministry. The casualties included children. General Carsten Jacobson, spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Force, said, “This is another desperate attack by the Taliban. Another attack by the insurgency that resulted in the deaths of innocent Afghan civilians, with most of that being children from a nearby school.” According to officials, the Taliban is not strong; the Afghan security forces are weak.


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