President Obama Makes Surprise Visit to Afghanistan
President Barack Obama landed Sunday in Afghanistan on an unannounced trip to visit with U.S. forces on Memorial Day weekend, according to the press pool traveling with the President.
This marks his fourth trip to the country, with his last being on May 1, 2012, when he made an address to the United States about the country’s involvement in Afghanistan.
Country music star Brad Paisley traveled aboard Air Force One with the President. He’s set to perform for some of the 32,000 Americans serving in Afghanistan at a major rally.
Obama will make remarks at the event, before heading to a hospital to visit troops.
Air Force One left late Saturday night and arrived at Bagram Air Field Sunday morning Eastern time.
Also traveling with Obama is National Security Adviser Susan Rice and adviser John Podesta, whose son is currently serving in Afghanistan. Others aboard Air Force One were senior aides Dan Pfeiffer and Ben Rhodes.
His trip comes as his administration is facing criticism over how it has handled prolonged wait-times and other health care issues for veterans.
The Obama administration is also still deciding whether to any U.S. troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014.
Obama is set to address foreign policy later this week in a speech at West Point, where he’s set to lay out his vision for how the U.S. should apply force around the world.