Obama makes unannounced trip to Afghanistan
President expected to sign partnership agreement with Karzai
- Duration 7:21
- Date May 1, 2012
President expected to sign partnership agreement with Karzai
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There is breaking news now on Fox News Channel President Obama has arrived in Afghanistan.
As the Associated Press puts it under intense scrutiny or security.
And the cover of night President Obama slipped into Afghanistan today to sign an agreement cementing -- US commitment.
To the nation after a long and unpopular war comes to an end he's on the ground for about seven hours -- that's the plan in Afghanistan.
Where the United States has been engaged in war for more than a decade following the attacks of nine elevenths.
The trip carries major symbolic significance for president seeking a second term.
And allows the president to showcase what the White House considers the fruit of president Obama's refocus war effort.
The killing a year ago of the 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden.
As you can see Air Force One touchdown late at night local time that Bob -- air field.
The main US base there again in Afghanistan there eight and a half hours ahead of us here on East Coast time.
So were just about a quarter to midnight there.
Media traveling with the president on the thirteen hour flight had agreed to keep it secret.
Until the president had -- as safely reached a helicopter flight to the nation's capital of Kabul.
Where Taliban insurgents still wants lethal attacks.
The president is joining the Afghan President Hamid Karzai to sign an agreement.
That will broadly govern the US role in Afghanistan.
After the American combat missions stops at the end of the year 2014.
Thirteen years after this war began.
The president will give a speech tonight 7:30.
Eastern daylight time designed to reach Americans in the United States in the dinner time hour.
It will be 4 AM there in Afghanistan when the president speaks.
He's wore -- -- will come exactly one year after special forces on the presidents order -- the raid that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.
And since then ties between the United States and Afghanistan have been tested -- need.
By the burning of Muslim holy book the -- a US base.
And the massacre of seventeen civilians including many women and children alleged by an American soldier.
The president overcharged.
Overcharging message will be that the war is ending on his watch but the US commitment to its quote ally is not and -- this now the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and Fox News contributor Judith Miller she's also an adjunct professor fellow at the think tank the Manhattan institute.
Not all that surprising and certainly unannounced and and frankly politics aside for the moment at least an important agreement.
This is part of the victory lap of the year anniversary of a great event which was at least for America the killing of Osama bin Laden and the president has every right.
To make the most of it which he's doing.
And it what one might come to the conclusion that that would be a good thing for Americans as well I don't know about you Judith.
And we'll get to the rest of breaking news of the day in -- coming.
I was I have to be out of the country of in Europe at the time and came back to the United States and there was a sense of unity.
That I hadn't felt in years in this nation all politics was on the floor.
This man had orchestrated the murder of our relatives and our neighbors the -- less than most of it in many ways symbolic.
Buildings of our democracy and our capitalism came crashing to the ground and American stood as one.
And a year later this thing has become a political football field and it is mind blowing.
That all of a sudden we are divided again over something that was such a cohesive moment.
People in this city stood on sidewalks and simultaneously cheered and cried.
As finally this man who led who -- harmed us so.
Had had been taken off the face of the Europe and here we see the meeting as the president arrived.
You wonder if maybe there's a way for people to come back together here because the American people don't deserve be tossed around like a political football.
You know I wonder whether or not.
The politicized nation.
Of this event.
We'll have adverse consequences.
For the Republicans were trying to do that and the Democrats who were doing it as well as well -- you know this is more than a political football as you said Chad this is a very important event I had spent.
Approximately fifteen years looking at Osama bin Laden was one of the first journalist to write about him.
I was very very worried about him and al-Qaeda.
And what they were planning to do as was President Clinton but he could never find an opportunity.
To use one of those missiles that he tried again and again to -- We know what happened on on on September 11.
And now this is a moment when the president can solidify an agreement with a country that hosted this now.
This is a strategic partnership it may not last that is -- very very important step forward.
And a total contrast from what we did the last time 1989.
After the Soviet Union left Afghanistan.
We left we got distracted by other issues and Afghanistan.
Was taken over by the -- about.
And we have paid for that and -- sense and the president just determined not to let that happen again hence the strategic partnership now -- There is the second agreement which is being negotiated.
And this it's it's unclear whether or not -- agreed to come to an agreement.
Just as we had problems in Iraq.
We may have problems strike an agreement with Afghans as well how many forces are we going to leave there what will be their role.
To whom will they report.
Who will give the orders will they have immunity all of these very important issues are out there.
And we'll see whether or not there's a second agreement that's one will know what the nature of the relationship -- Between Afghanistan and -- said.
And the video of the president in his -- entourage getting off the plane that second agreement.
Would include in theory and in practice what.
And that's would be what they call a status of forces agreement is just as it was in Iraq and it does include things like.
How many where to whom they report what their status is -- -- in the country today have immunity because remember that's what broke down.
In the Iraqi US stocks in the Rockies were simply unwilling to give American forces -- remained.
While they are acting.
On behalf of the Iraqi People in Iraq as a result we have -- status of forces agreement.
And all of the American combat forces around as a result the same thing could very well happen.
Afghanistan if there can't be -- -- -- And it's my understanding from the reading from movement from the printouts from the White House.
There will be no discussion of the status of forces agreement.
Would suggest it was that not only has one not been reached but potentially when there's absolutely no discussion.
The time -- sensitive.
-- about why this is not the moment for that I think the president wants to make the most of the strategic partnership which isn't accomplishment.
There are so many questions have relocated to this issue for example can Hamid -- survive.
As the president -- Afghanistan so many in the country don't like him but you know what they -- Hamid Karzai more than -- like the Taliban the Taliban are hugely unpopular in Afghanistan.
The best way of preventing them from taking over the country is really what divides.
People and when they talk about Afghanistan today.