Obama Makes Surprise Visit to Afghanistan

President Barack Obama, right, is greeted by US Ambassador to Afghanistan James Cunningham, center, and Marine General Joseph Dunford, commander of the US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), as he arrives at Bagram Air Field for an unannounced visit, on Sunday, May 25, 2014, north of Kabul, Afghanistan. Image credit: Evan Vucci/AP Photo


ABC News reported:
President Obama is in Afghanistan for Memorial Day weekend, having made a surprise trip there overnight.

Under cover of night and without making his plans public, the president departed in Air Force One about 10:30 p.m. Saturday, flying along with National Security advisor Susan Rice, senior White House advisor John Podesta, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, National Security Council spokesman Ben Rhodes and country music singer Brad Paisley.

Obama is now at Bagram Airfield. He’ll receive a briefing behind closed doors and will meet with wounded soldiers at the hospital there.

Paisley will perform for troops stationed at the military base, holding a Memorial Day weekend concert while the president receives his briefing before returning to Washington, D.C., aboard Air Force One.

Obama will address troops after Paisley performs.

President Obama has no plans to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai or either of the two men vying to replace him in a runoff presidential election: Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani. The visit comes amid strained relations after Karzai refused to sign a negotiated agreement to allow some troops to remain in Afghanistan after this year. It also comes as Obama is weighing how many troops to leave in the country after the U.S. completes its drawdown of forces after 2014.