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Obama makes surprise visit to Afghanistan

By None , Department of Defense

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President Barack Obama steps off of Air Force One at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Sunday. His trip included a visit with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and a talk with troops deployed at Bagram.
President Barack Obama steps off of Air Force One at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Sunday. His trip included a visit with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and a talk with troops deployed at Bagram.

March 27, 2010 — BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (March 28, 2010) — In a visit that wasn't announced until he arrived, President Barack Obama is in Kabul today, March 28, where he met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Obama arrived at Bagram Airfield aboard Air Force One at 7:25 p.m. local time – 10:25 a.m. EDT – and was met by Army Gen. Stanley A.  McChrystal, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, and U.S.  Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl W. Eikenberry.

The president boarded a helicopter at Bagram for a 15-minute flight to the presidential palace in the Afghan capital.

James L. Jones, Obama's national security advisor, told reporters the president would engage his Afghan counterpart on benchmarks for matters that require attention, such as a initiating a merit-based system for appointment of key government officials, battling corruption, and taking the fight to the country's drug traffickers, who provide funding for insurgents.

Jones also said the two presidents would discuss the importance of the reintegration and reconciliation process for Afghans who are willing to renounce association with the insurgency.