Peter Bergen, David Gergen, Ari Fleischer, Paul Begala and Gloria Borger explain their view on the greater significance of President Obama's Afghanistan trip.
Reporter's Note: I write to the president every day, no matter where he is.
Dear Mr. President,
Afghanistan? Why don’t you ever tell me that you’re going on these trips? You know it wouldn’t take me ten minutes to grab a bag and join you. So how’s it going? Jet lag can be hard enough to deal with, without possible rocket fire, so I hope you are taking care of yourself.
Just as importantly, I hope you have worked out an excellent speech for tonight explaining precisely why you made the trip. I realize that you signed a deal, but there is such a thing as FedEx for handling documents, and let me tell you, your most rabid critics here at home are howling on the Internet over the idea that this is just political grandstanding.
They are continuing the theme of the past few weeks, in that they believe this is fundamentally about a big tax payer funded photo op. Pretty much the same complaint they’ve made about your recent trips to battleground states here at home. In short, they believe this has precious little to do with foreign policy, and a lot to do with re-election posturing.
Interestingly enough, many of your Republican opponents in Congress are not on the list of grumblers right now. They seem to be willing to grant you the benefit of the doubt, noting that this is serious business and even if they harbored suspicions of political maneuverings it would not be right to raise such questions while you are overseas.
And to be sure, you also have many fans who are delighted that you made the trip.
Anyway, I just wanted to keep you up to date on some of what is happening at home.
Travel well and safely.
One year ago terror mastermind Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs during a raid on his Pakistan compound. Today in neighboring Afghanistan, President Obama signed the Strategic Partnership Agreement between the two countries during an unannounced visit. The agreement outlines cooperation between the U.S. and Afghanistan for the ten years following the 2014 withdrawal of most U.S. and allied troops.
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