Tonight on AC360: The President addresses the nation from Afghanistan
Photo credit: Getty Images
May 1st, 2012
05:40 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: The President addresses the nation from Afghanistan

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.

The President also spoke to troops at Bagram Air Force Base outside of Kabul before shaking hands with service members. "You guys represent what is best in America," he said. "I know the battle is not yet over. There is going to be heartbreak and pain and difficulty ahead. But there is a light on the horizon because of the sacrifices you've made. You've earned a special place in our hearts and I could not be prouder to be your commander in chief."

The U.S. has 90,000 troops serving among the 130,000 troops from 50 countries, according to the NATO-led International Security and Assistance Force. Since the war began in 2001, more than 2,700 coalition troops have died, the majority of them American.

Support for the war in Afghanistan has fallen to an all-time low, and a majority of Americans believe the U.S. should withdraw all of its troops from Afghanistan before the 2014 deadline. The CNN/ORC International poll conducted in late March shows 25% of respondents support the war while 72% oppose it.

Today's trip marks President Obama's third to Afghanistan. Six months from now, Americans will head to the polls to either reelect the President who decided to pursue the mission that took out bin Laden, or they will cast their vote for a new leader, most likely Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Regardless, the issue of national security will surely be on the minds of many voters.

President Obama will address the nation in a live broadcast on CNN at 7:30 p.m ET tonight. Stay tuned for full coverage and analysis of his remarks at 8 p.m. ET when Anderson speaks with Peter Bergen, David Gergen, Gloria Borger, Paul Begala, Ari Fleischer, Fran Townsend, Retired General Spider Marks, Dan Senor and more on AC360°.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • President Barack Obama
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Lee McGlone

    Why does our president continue to play games with American soldiers? We have 2 options. One, we choose to maintain a presence in Afghanistan forever...as we have done elsewhere in the world. Two, we choose to bring our soldiers home. If the option is to bring U.S. troops home, as in 2014, which the president dangles before us as a morsel of contempt, why not bring them home tomorrow. Eventually Afghanistan will return to its former self...and we will have lost thousands of lives, plus tens of thousands of Afghan lives, for absolutlely nothing. Let's make the choice either to stay (and say so honestly), or we cut our losses and come home.

    May 1, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
  2. Phyllis Royster, Greensboro, NC

    This President has done a fantastic job relative to the war on terror unlike his predecessors he did not rush in and say mission accomplish. However he has worked diligently to end both wars. As a military veteran I applaud President Obama for being very Presidential in his delivery tonight. As an independent woman voter President Obama can count on my vote! Tonight sealed the deal for me!!!!!!!!!!

    May 1, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
  3. Joe

    Whether we get out of Afghanistan in 2014 or 2024 or tomorrow, the result will be the same. It is foolish to stay and destroy more American lives and waste more money. We really learn nothing from history. Isn't to continue to do the same thing and expect a different result the definition of insanity?

    May 1, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
  4. Bruce Hahn

    Thanks for the over analyzation of a 15 minute speech. Obviously for show/politics. Obviously!

    May 1, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  5. Dave

    The U.S. should stay in Afghanistan for a long time. Not as a permanent occupier, but with bases to protect our interests in that region and to keep the Taliban and al Qaeda from taking over Afghanistan again. There is no war to win – that shouldn't be the mission – the mission is to protect ourselves from afar in this small world.

    May 1, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
  6. Szymon Omeljaniuk

    Why does The Commander and Chief need protection from his own troops?
    Is a five person security detail really necessary when shaking soldiers hands?
    Bad PR perhaps?

    May 1, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • Phyllis Royster, Greensboro, NC

      Szymon in reply to your post, Evidently you have never been in the military and surely never in a combat zone. As a veteran it is a absolute necessity because he is the President of the US in a war zone to have proper security.

      May 1, 2012 at 10:50 pm |