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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