President Obama Surprises Troops In Afghanistan
Matt | On 03, Dec 2010
You never know when you might look up and the President of the United States may be standing there.
President Barack Obama spent much of Friday (Eastern time) over in Afghanistan on a surprise visit to U.S. troops deployed overseas. He spoke to about 3,500 soldiers in a large hangar on an air base in the country.
The speech was one of several things the president did during his three-hour stint on the ground. He also presented five Purple Heart awards to wounded soldiers. He also had a call with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and met with Gen. David Petraeus, the leader of NATO forces. In short, the president has to hustle his ass through Afghanistan because it’s not a place you just sit and drink coffee like on the streets of Paris.
President Obama’s visit comes at a critical time in the Afghan war. The U.S. presence has been ramped up in the past year to help beat back the Taliban. In addition to the nostalgia of the holiday season, it was important for POTUS to reassure the troops about their mission of destroying safe havens for terrorists abroad. (I’m glad he said it because others of us have no idea in hell why the U.S. is fighting abroad…).
Over 100,000 American troops are stationed in Afghanistan. An additional 50,000 coalition forces (from countries that support the war) have also lent their troops to the fight. The U.S. will begin in 2011 to release control of the country back to Afghans. That process should be complete by 2014.
Sidenote: After a roundtrip flight covering 9 1/2 timezones (each way) for a three hour visit, POTUS has to have some HELLIFIED jet lag. I want to sleep FOR him at this point!