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Obama makes surprise trip to Afghanistan! Suprise Suprise

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05/01/2012 04:02 PM
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Obama makes surprise trip to Afghanistan! Suprise Suprise
[link to www.politico.com]

The main goal, they say, is to sign the strategic partnership agreement, which reaffirms the withdrawal of most combat troops by the end of 2014 while ensuring some U.S. presence in the country for the next decade. According to them, Obama could have signed the agreement in Washington but felt it was important to meet with Karzai and update Americans on the progress.

The unconventional timing of events on the trip, such as the signing ceremony at midnight local time, was aimed at allowing Obama to address Americans on a schedule convenient for U.S. television audiences, senior administration officials said. That speech, expected to run about 10 minutes, is scheduled to take place at 4 a.m. in Afghanistan.

But the dark-of-night schedule also provides an added layer of security for Air Force One and the flights by helicopter from Bagram to a landing zone near the presidential palace. While U.S. officials insist security has improved significantly since the U.S. troop buildup Obama ordered at the end of 2009, there have been a series of troubling incidents in recent months including riots relating to the burning of Qurans at a U.S. military base, Afghan on U.S. troop violence, and a protracted gun and RPG battle in Kabulís embassy district just over two weeks ago.

The trip also comes at a time of elevated attention in the presidential campaign to foreign policy, spurred in part by the bin Laden anniversary.

Read more: [link to www.politico.com]