President Obama embarked on a surprise trip to Kabul, Afghanistan late last night. The trip, which comes on the one year anniversary of Osama Bin Laden’s death, will include a meeting with Afghan president Hamid Karzai.
ABC reports that the president touched down at Bagram Air Field earlier today after a 13-hour flight. The President’s trip was kept secret in order to ensure the president’s safety.
Obama will address the nation from the base tonight at 7:30 p.m. EST. He is expected to announce the signing of the Strategic Partnership Agreement. The Strategic Partnership Agreement ensures that the United States will continue to provide military and financial support after the final U.S. combat troops are withdrawn from Afghanistan.
The Huffington Post reports that Obama’s speech comes exactly one year after Navy Seals Team 6 raided Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan and killed the terrorist leader.
Obama has been criticized at home by his likely Republican opponent Mitt Romney for politicizing the death of Osama Bin Laden. The Obama campaign said that there has been no “excessive celebration” and that the anniversary’s of Bin Laden’s death is not the main focus of the President’s visit to Afghanistan. They did admit, however, that reminding the American public about the death of Osama Bin Laden probably wouldn’t hurt the President’s chances as he attempts to be re-elected to a second term.
“Change is the promise we made in 2008… For the first time in nine years, there are no Americans fighting in Iraq. We have refocused our efforts on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11. Al Qaeda is weaker than it’s ever been. Thanks to our amazing troops, Osama bin Laden no longer walks the face of this Earth… We have begun to transition out of Afghanistan. That’s what change is.”
This is the President’s third visit to Afghanistan since he took office.