December 3rd, 2010
02:45 PM ET

Obama praises troops in surprise visit to Afghanistan

CNN Wire Staff

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) - President Barack Obama made a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Friday, personally delivering holiday greetings to U.S. troops stationed there and promising continued full support in the war against Taliban and other extremists.

The president, who is expected to remain on the ground for roughly three hours, addressed nearly 3,900 troops at Bagram Airfield. Most of the troops were with the Army's 101st Airborne Division, though components of all the service branches were represented.

"I wanted to make sure that I could spend a little time this holiday with the finest fighting force the world has ever known," he told the enthusiastic audience. "On behalf of more than 300 million Americans, we are here to say thank you."

The president praised the troops for what he characterized as recent military gains in the nine-year conflict.

Our coalition "is strong and is growing," he said. "You're going on the offense. (We're) tired of playing defense."

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Afghanistan
soundoff (One Response)
  1. J.V.Hodgson

    This visit has been labelled "Unannounced" by parts of the CNN team In fact this post was initially "unannounced" and then became "surprise"!
    Blitzer for example spent ages asking why no pre information given to the press, c'mon Wolf the president is going to a serious war zone and when other presidents did that they never pre announced, it makes my simple voter individual head hurt to answer your stupid question Security of his life!!.
    Surprise is fine and how it should be for a multitude of reasons the sad part is he had to do so early in the Xms season because of all the NO's ( chicken crap) again from Republicans.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:45 pm |