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Obama makes surprise trip to Afghanistan

 

President Obama has made an unannounced trip to Afghanistan, according to a White House pool report. He will also address the nation at 7:30 pm ET.

AP notes that Obama will "sign an agreement cementing the U.S. role in the country after the war ends in 2014. Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai are to approve the agreement before Obama gives a speech on the war effort for a TV audience back in the United States."

Mandel Ngan / AFP - Getty Images

President Obama steps off Air Force One May 1 upon arrival at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan.

NBC's Kristen Welker reports that Obama will detail how the relationship between the United States and Afghanistan will be normalized after 2014 when the U.S. will pull out of the country. This trip, Welker reports, was 20 months in the making.

NBC's Chuck Todd reports that Karzai requested a signing of the agreement on Afghan soil. Obama will not speak before an audience of troops, Todd reports. He will mention the bin Laden anniversary.

President Barack Obama is in Kabul to sign a 10-year security agreement with Afghanistan. NBC's Chuck Todd and Jim Miklaszewski report.

AP: "The trip carries major symbolic significance for a president seeking a second term and allows him to showcase what the White House considers the fruit of Obama's refocused war effort: the killing a year ago of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden."

This is also the nine-year anniversary of President Bush speaking on an aircraft carrier with the "Mission Accomplished" banner behind him.