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Obama thanks US troops in Afghanistan

December 3, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
President Barack Obama spoke to troops in Afghanistan on Friday morning during a surprise visit. The trip comes shortly before a critical review of the nine-year-old war's progress. The president wanted to make the trip between Thanksgiving and Christmas to personally thank the troops.

Before he met with troops at Bagram Air Field, the president met with wounded soldiers and presented purple hearts.

The president spoke to members of every service at the Afghan home of the 101st Airborne Division. He told them that he spoke on behalf of every American and was there to say thanks to them and their families for their sacrifices. He told them they are making progress and that the country is behind them.

"Because of the progress you're making, we look forward to a new phase next year. The beginning of a transition to Afghan responsibility. As we do, we continue to forge a partnership with the Afghan people for the long-term," said Obama. "We will never let this country serve as a safe haven for terrorists who would attack the United States of America again. That will never happen."

The president was scheduled to spend a little more than three hours in Afghanistan.

Because of the bad weather, the White House ended plans to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul. They were going to talk on the phone instead. The leaked U.S. cables by the website WikiLeaks give an unflattering portrait of Karzai, which may be part of the conversation.


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