President Obama made an unannounced trip to Afghanistan on Sunday, his first trip to the country since becoming president.
During his approximately six hour long visit, the president met with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, members of Karzai’s cabinet and U.S. troops stationed there.
This past December President Obama announced that he was ordering 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. Speaking to American troops today he reminded them why he felt the mission was necessary, “We can't forget why we're here. We did not choose this war. This was not an act of America wanting to expand its influence; of us wanting to meddle in somebody else's business. We were attacked viciously on 9/11. Thousands of our fellow countrymen and women were killed. And this is the region where the perpetrators of that crime, al Qaeda, still base their leadership. Plots against our homeland, plots against our allies, plots against the Afghan and Pakistani people are taking place as we speak right here. And if this region slides backwards, if the Taliban retakes this country and al Qaeda can operate with impunity, then more American lives will be at stake. The Afghan people will lose their chance at progress and prosperity. And the world will be significantly less secure.
“And as long as I'm your Commander-in-Chief, I am not going to let that happen. That's why you are here. I've made a promise to all of you who serve. I will never send you into harm's way unless it's absolutely necessary. I anguish in thinking about the sacrifices that so many of you make. That's why I promise I will never send you out unless it is necessary.”
The two leaders will meet again soon. At the request of President Obama, President Karzai will travel to Washington, DC on May 12th.
For an inside look at the president’s day – check out the slideshow of White House photos below (after the jump).