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Offline mystery-ak

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Obama Surprises Troops In Afghanistan
« on: May 25, 2014, 12:13:31 PM »
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/25/obama-surprises-troops_n_5389274.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000013

Obama Surprises Troops In Afghanistan
 AP  | by  JULIE PACE
Posted: 05/25/2014 12:04 pm EDT Updated: 2 minutes ago

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (AP) — President Barack Obama secretly slipped into Afghanistan under the cover of darkness Sunday for a weekend visit with U.S. troops serving in the closing months of America's longest war.

Air Force One landed at Bagram Air Field, the main U.S. base in Afghanistan, after an overnight flight from Washington. Obama was scheduled to spend just a few hours on the base and had no plans to travel to Kabul, the capital, to meet with Hamid Karzai, the mercurial president who has had a tumultuous relationship with the White House.

Obama's surprise trip comes as the U.S. and NATO withdraw most of their forces ahead of a year-end deadline. Obama is seeking to keep a small number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014 to train Afghan security forces and conduct counterterrorism missions. But that plan is contingent on Karzai's successor signing a bilateral security agreement that Karzai has refused to authorize.

Obama's visit also was taking place against the backdrop of growing outrage in the United States over the treatment of America's war veterans. More than two dozen veterans' hospitals across America are under investigation over allegations of treatment delays and deaths, putting greater scrutiny on the Department of Veterans Affairs. The agency already was struggling to keep up with the influx of forces returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq.

At least 2,181 members of the U.S. military have died during the nearly 13-year Afghan war and thousands more have been wounded. There are still about 32,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, down from a high of 100,000 in mid-2010, when as Obama sent in additional soldiers to quell escalating violence.

This was Obama's fourth visit to Afghanistan as president, but his first since winning re-election in 2012.

He was expected to be briefed by U.S. commanders in Afghanistan, speak to troops at Bagram and visit injured troops being treated at a base hospital.

As is typical of recent presidential trips to war zones, the White House did not announce Obama's visit in advance. Media traveling with Obama for the 13-hour flight had to agree to keep the trip secret until the president arrived at the air base.

Obama has staked much of his foreign policy philosophy on ending the two wars he inherited from his predecessor, George W. Bush.

The final American troops withdrew from Iraq in the closing days of 2011 after the U.S. and Iraq failed to reach a security agreement to keep a small American residual force in the country. In the years that have followed the American withdrawal, Iraq has been battered by resurgent waves of violence.

U.S. officials say they're trying to avoid a similar scenario in Afghanistan. While combat forces are due to depart at the end of this year, Obama administration officials have pressed to keep some troops in Afghanistan after 2014 to continue training the Afghan security forces and undertake counterterrorism missions.

Pentagon officials have pushed for as many as 10,000 troops; others in the administration favor as few as 5,000 troops. Obama has insisted he will not keep any Americans in Afghanistan without a signed security agreement that would grant those forces immunity from Afghan law.

U.S. officials had hoped plans a post-2014 force would be well underway by this point. But Karzai stunned U.S. officials this year by saying he would not sign the security agreement even though he helped negotiate the terms. The move signaled that Karzai does not want his legacy to include a commitment to allow the deployment of international troops in his country any longer.

Karzai's decision compounded his already tense relationship with officials in Washington who have grown increasingly frustrated by his anti-American rhetoric and decision to release prisoners over the objections of U.S. officials. Obama and Karzai have spoken just once in the past year.

By skipping a meeting with Karzai while in Afghanistan, Obama is signaling that the White House already has discounted the Afghan president as a worthwhile partner.

Karzai, the only president Afghans have known since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion to topple the Taliban's Islamic rule, was constitutionally barred from running for a third term this year. An election to choose his successor was held this month, with the top two candidates advancing to a June runoff.

Both of those candidates, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah and ex-Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, have promised a fresh start with the West and pledged to move ahead with the security pact with the U.S.

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Offline mystery-ak

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Re: Obama Surprises Troops In Afghanistan
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2014, 12:15:16 PM »
He's such a phoney baloney...I guess he thought he better show how much he cares for the troops....I am sure they were tickled pink to see him...

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Re: Obama Surprises Troops In Afghanistan
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2014, 01:49:51 PM »
Obama knows what the supreme sacrifice really is. It's missing a round or two of golf on a holiday weekend in order to fit in a photo op with the troops (especially when his administration is being pilloried for its mistreatment of veterans).
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Offline mystery-ak

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Re: Obama Surprises Troops In Afghanistan
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2014, 02:37:33 PM »


He's gotta wear his bomber jacket although the temp is probably in the 80's or more

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Offline mystery-ak

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Re: Obama Surprises Troops In Afghanistan
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2014, 02:39:02 PM »
 President Obama: Done in Afghanistan by year’s end
By: Edward-Isaac Dovere
May 25, 2014 12:28 PM EDT

On a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Sunday, President Barack Obama pledged “a responsible end” to American presence in the country, telling a rally of troops that combat operations would be fully over in the country by year’s end.

Standing in a bomber jacket on stage at a rally with some of the 32,000 troops still stationed in the country, Obama told them that they would be coming home soon, with Afghan forces finally ready to take over responsibility and security.

Obama instead spent his time visiting wounded troops at a hospital on the base, and getting an on-site briefing from commanders on the ground, including ambassador to Afghanistan James Cunningham and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the commander of American and International Security Assistance Force forces in the country.



“The main reason I took this trip is to make sure that everbody knows as we come into Memorial Day weekend that … we are aware of the sacrifices that so many have made … in Afghanistan,” Obama said toward the close of the meeting, as pool reporters were led into the trailer where they met.

Obama referenced a poster he saw of the Twin Towers as he came into the trailer, reflecting on his visit to the Sept. 11 Museum in New York last week.

“It is a reminder of why we are here,” he said.

He cited progress in Afghanistan, adding, “I will be honest with you, it has gone better than I might have expected a year ago.”

Obama then spoke to the troops after a performance by country music star Brad Paisley, who arrived with the president aboard Air Force One.

Obama did not meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai — or Abdullah Abdullah or Ashraf Ghani, the two candidates in the run-off to succeed him.

The trip, timed for Memorial Day weekend, was not announced before the president was on the ground at Bagram Air Base. This marks his fourth trip to the country, and first time there since 2012, when he came for just a few hours under cover of night to deliver a speech broadcast back home on the anniversary of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

En route to the air base, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters on Air Force One that the speech comes ahead of more announcements about American involvement in the country, where troops have been fighting since shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.

The administration is “making some decisions about the future of our commitment to Afghanistan,” Rhodes said, adding that Obama wanted to get a briefing from his commander on the ground and ambassador first.

“It is important for him to come before he articulates a decision,” Rhodes said.

No decisions on a post-Afghan force have been so far, Rhodes said, though adding that the White House did recently host a NSC meeting about the path forward. One major issue holding up that decision: the bilateral security agreement that Karzai has refused to sign, much to the frustration of the administration. Both candidates running to succeed him have said that they would be ready to sign it.

The visit to the troops comes after a week of major criticism Obama’s faced for allegations of misconduct and mismanagement at Veterans Affairs health facilities, giving him an opportunity to visit and be cheered by troops after being attacked for not doing enough to take care of veterans.

Rhodes said the outrage over the VA situation did not “factor into the planning for the trip,” but that while on the ground, Obama would stress the message of support his administration has for veterans.

In his weekly radio address Saturday, Obama urged Americans to remember all the troops who’ve died, but also to pay attention to the needs of those who returned and need care.

“In recent weeks, we’ve seen again how much more our nation has to do make sure all our veterans get the care that they deserve,” Obama said. “Now that we’ve ended the war in Iraq and our war in Afghanistan ends as well, we have to work even harder as a nation to make sure all our veterans get the benefits and opportunities they’ve earned. They’ve done their duty and they ask nothing more than that this country does ours — now and for decades to come.”

And the Afghanistan trip comes just a few days before a speech to West Point graduates Wednesday that the White House says will focus on laying out his foreign policy philosophy, in part focused on the country’s path forward as it winds down the last of the American presence in Afghanistan and Iraq.

”As we reach the end of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, it’s a natural point to describe how we see our strategy moving out of this period of war, both in terms of counter-terrorism, and also in terms of our broader priorities around the world,” a White House official said Saturday, in a preview of the speech.

The official said the speech would be about laying out a broader philosophy of foreign policy than the president’s done responding to situations that have flared up over the last year. The vision, the official said, is “both interventionist and internationalist, but not isolationist or unilateral.”

On Obama’s 2012 trip to Afghanistan, which was also not announced publicly before he landed, the president left so quickly after delivering his speech to avoid being on the ground after sunrise that reporters were left running across the tarmac to reboard Air Force One.

Security concerns remain, Rhodes said, explaining the hushed and rushed nature of this trip.

“It is not the same motorcade, it is not the same footprint,” he said. “We just don’t want to take any risks with the president’s security.”


« Last Edit: May 25, 2014, 02:39:40 PM by mystery-ak »

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Offline sinkspur

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Re: Obama Surprises Troops In Afghanistan
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2014, 02:46:57 PM »
High-tailed his bony ass out of the country so he doesn't have to appear at the Tomb of the Unknown on Memorial Day.
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Offline mystery-ak

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Re: Obama Surprises Troops In Afghanistan
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2014, 02:50:01 PM »
I thought the same thing....would have loved to see the vets turn their back on him though...

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Re: Obama Surprises Troops In Afghanistan
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2014, 02:53:52 PM »
I would be willing to bet that Obama has never fired a weapon in his life. The idea that this stoner, slacker, is in charge of all American military fighting forces is astounding. This is a point which is not lost on Putin, China, and the rest of the world BTW.
 

 
 
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Re: Obama Surprises Troops In Afghanistan
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2014, 03:09:58 PM »
The simple fact we haven't completely subdued, subjugated all of Afghanistan, or nuked it into rubble is evidence of our weakness.

Muslims only respect power, and we could have displayed our power, by taking down the country which housed the 9/11/2001 pilots.

We didn't, so muslims all over the world see weakness in us. That will encourage and inspire the worst of them to risk continuing terrorism against us and others.

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Re: Obama Surprises Troops In Afghanistan
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2014, 03:25:39 PM »
I am not part of the 'blame Bush' chorus, but Bush was only slightly less weak than Obama in that regard. Our goal was not to destroy them, but to 'convert' them. We were supposed to 'make friends' with them. That was and still is the idea.
 
That is the height of American arrogance and American PC naiveté. And this kind of stupidity got a lot of Americans killed.
 
We could have blown them all to kingdom come, but were told to stand down. We should have been done with the mission before Bush left office. But it is not a 'war', it is a public relations exercise. The only problem is the real bullets, the real weapons, the real IEDs that are all over the place. That kind of kinks up the whole PR ideal.
 
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Offline Carling

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Re: Obama Surprises Troops In Afghanistan
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2014, 03:28:31 PM »
So ... did he meet with Karzai? 
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Offline Ford289HiPo

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Re: Obama Surprises Troops In Afghanistan
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2014, 03:35:46 PM »

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (AP) — President Barack Obama secretly slipped into Afghanistan under the cover of darkness Sunday for a weekend visit with U.S. troops serving in the closing months of America's longest war.

Air Force One landed at Bagram Air Field, the main U.S. base in Afghanistan, after an overnight flight from Washington.


I can imagine the traffic mess that caused on Disney Drive (the only thoroughfare through the main part of the base. It was probably locked down and the troops most likely had the bolts taken out of their weapons.
I wonder when the lies will stop and truth begin, even as grim as the truth may be. And then I remember that for 70 years, the reign of terror in Russia called itself "the people's government." We have so far to fall, yet we are falling fast and Hell yawns to receive us.

Offline Ford289HiPo

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Re: Obama Surprises Troops In Afghanistan
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2014, 03:39:43 PM »


On Obama’s 2012 trip to Afghanistan, which was also not announced publicly before he landed, the president left so quickly after delivering his speech to avoid being on the ground after sunrise that reporters were left running across the tarmac to reboard Air Force One.



I'll bet a nickel that not a single one of them had to go through the Air Force Customs and Security games before leaving. That is a nutroll.
I wonder when the lies will stop and truth begin, even as grim as the truth may be. And then I remember that for 70 years, the reign of terror in Russia called itself "the people's government." We have so far to fall, yet we are falling fast and Hell yawns to receive us.

Offline rangerrebew

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Re: Obama Surprises Troops In Afghanistan
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2014, 04:05:20 PM »
This is a really expensive way to cover his ass over the VA scandal.  As I remember it, he has called troops Nazis, terrorists, baby killers and who knows what else.  The man, like the vast majority of lefties hates the military, for everything it stands for and has done for America.
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Offline mystery-ak

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Re: Obama Surprises Troops In Afghanistan
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2014, 05:13:18 PM »
http://thehill.com/policy/defense/207204-obama-in-awe-of-militarys-service

Obama in 'awe' of military's service



Whatever Obama...

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Re: Obama Surprises Troops In Afghanistan
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2014, 08:37:23 PM »
So ... did he meet with Karzai?


No! At least according to the article linked below.

http://news.yahoo.com/karzai-refused-meet-obama-bagram-air-says-us-185356420.html

Even Karzi knows him to be a lying duplicitous looser!
« Last Edit: May 25, 2014, 08:38:13 PM by Bigun »

Offline Right_in_Virginia

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Re: Obama Surprises Troops In Afghanistan
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2014, 10:45:22 PM »
High-tailed his bony ass out of the country so he doesn't have to appear at the Tomb of the Unknown on Memorial Day.

Yup.  The coward.
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Offline speekinout

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Re: Obama Surprises Troops In Afghanistan
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2014, 11:32:47 PM »
He is back in DC, and he is going to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Memorial Day.

Offline Right_in_Virginia

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Re: Obama Surprises Troops In Afghanistan
« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2014, 09:10:02 AM »
He is back in DC, and he is going to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Memorial Day.

I just heard that.  I'd prefer he go golfing.   **nononono*
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Online mountaineer

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Re: Obama Surprises Troops In Afghanistan
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2014, 09:12:09 AM »
Is he going to Normandy for the D-Day commemoration?
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Offline mystery-ak

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Re: Obama Surprises Troops In Afghanistan
« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2014, 09:26:53 AM »
He is back in DC, and he is going to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Memorial Day.

I just can't watch this lying POS anymore..especially at Arlington..

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Offline musiclady

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Re: Obama Surprises Troops In Afghanistan
« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2014, 09:46:50 AM »
Is he going to Normandy for the D-Day commemoration?

He probably doesn't even know anything happened on June 6th, 1944 to commemorate..................
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