Pres Obama Addresses America From Bagram AFB

President Obama addressing the American public from Bagram AFB, Afganistan

On Wednesday, May 2, President Barack Obama paid a surprise visit to Afghanistan, touching down in the war-torn country one year to the day after al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden died at the hands of elite American troops in neighboring Pakistan.

President Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai signed an agreement that lays out the US role for the ten years that follow the withdrawal of NATO-led combat forces, scheduled to occur by the end of 2014. President Obama addressed the troops at Bagram Air Base and then he addressed the American public.

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Remarks by the President to the Troops in Afghanistan
Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan

“All I want to do is just say thank you.

The sacrifices all of you have made, the sacrifices your families make every single day are what make America free and what make America secure. And I know that sometimes, out here, when you’re in theater, it’s not clear whether folks back home fully appreciate what’s going on. And let’s face it, a lot of times it’s easier to get bad news on the news than good news.

But here’s the good news, and here’s part of the reason that I’m here.  I just finished signing a Strategic Partnership Agreement with Afghanistan that signals the transition in which we are going to be turning over responsibility for Afghan security to the Afghans. We’re not going to do it overnight. We’re not going to do it irresponsibly.  We’re going to make sure that the gains, the hard-fought gains that have been made are preserved. But the reason we’re able to do that is because of you. The reason that the Afghans have an opportunity for a new tomorrow is because of you.  And the reason America is safe is because of you.

We did not choose this war. This war came to us on 9/11. And there are a whole bunch of folks here, I’ll bet, who signed up after 9/11.

We don’t go looking for a fight. But when we see our homeland violated, when we see our fellow citizens killed, then we understand what we have to do. And because of the sacrifices now of a decade, and a new Greatest Generation, not only were we able to blunt the Taliban momentum, not only were we able to drive al Qaeda out of Afghanistan, but slowly and systematically we have been able to decimate the ranks of al Qaeda, and a year ago we were able to finally bring Osama bin Laden to justice.

That could have only happened because each and every one of you, in your own way, were doing your jobs.  Each and every one of you — without a lot of fanfare, without a lot of fuss — you did your jobs.  No matter how small or how big, you were faithful to the oath that you took to protect this nation.  And your families did their job — supporting you and loving you and remembering you and being there for you. “

President Obama 5/3/12 Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan

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‘Day of honor': Afghans take over national security from US-led forces

6/18/13 By Akbar Shinwari and Sohel Uddin, NBC News

KABUL, Afghanistan – U.S.-led troops handed complete control of security to Afghanistan authorities Tuesday – an act of faith in country’s fledgling police and army in the face of near-constant insurgent attacks.

The formal transfer of responsibility is major milestone in the process of withdrawal from the country, 12 years after NATO-led mission ISAF began its mission to end Taliban rule.

However, a botched car bomb that killed at least three civilians just before the official handover ceremony raising renewed questions about how the country’s 352,000-strong security forces will tackle the militant threat.

Most foreign combat troops will leave the country by the end of 2014, but international funding and humanitarian aid will continue – prolonging the political headache for President Barack Obama over America’s involvement in the conflict.

“Today is a day for all Americans to take pride in the hard work our service members and their civilian counterparts are performing every day in Afghanistan,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a statement that called Tuesday’s handover a “critical milestone.

For more: http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/18/19016608-day-of-honor-afghans-take-over-national-security-from-us-led-forces?lite

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Afghan Forces Take Afghanistan Security Lead

Published on Jun 18, 2013

Afghan forces have taken over the security lead in Afghanistan, following an official handover from the US-led NATO coalition on Tuesday.

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May 25, 2014

Remarks by the President to the Troops at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
TO U.S. TROOPS

Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan

THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Bagram! (Applause.) Well, I know it’s a little late, but I was in the neighborhood and thought I’d stop by. (Applause.) First of all, I want everybody to give a huge round of applause to your commander, General Joe Dunford. Please give him an outstanding, rousing acknowledgement. (Applause.) I am grateful to him for his leadership of our coalition here in Afghanistan, and for his lifetime of distinguished service — to the Marine Corps and to America.

And can everybody please give it up to Brad Paisley? (Applause.) Now, I want to say this about Brad. First of all, he’s a great supporter of our troops, a great supporter of your families. Two years ago we had him at the White House to perform for troops and military families during the Fourth of July celebration. Him coming here today was not easy. He had just started a tour and he had to juggle a lot of stuff and had to try to figure out how to explain it to people without explaining it to people, and his wife and two young sons, and promoters and agents — and without going into details, this was a big sacrifice for him. And he did it because he cares so deeply about you. So I’m so grateful to him.

I want to make clear, though, I will not be singing so –

AUDIENCE: Awwww –

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, you really want me to sing? (Applause.) No, but I do want to just say to Brad, thank you so much for doing this.

I want to acknowledge our outstanding Ambassador, Jim Cunningham, who’s here, with his lovely wife. And Jim leads an incredible team of civilians — at our embassy and across this country. They are also making sacrifices, also away from their families, oftentimes themselves at risk as they serve. I know those of you in uniform couldn’t do your jobs without these Americans as your partners. So we salute the dedicated service of all the civilians who are here, led by Jim Cunningham. Give them a big round of applause. (Applause.)

Now, I guess I also should mention that we’ve got a few folks here as part of the 10th Mountain Division — (applause) — “Climb To Glory.” (Applause.) We got the 455th Airwing in the house. (Applause.) Task Force Muleskinner — (applause) — Task Force Thunder — (applause — Task Force Rugged — (applause.)

To all of you, I’m here on a single mission, and that is to thank you for your extraordinary service. (Applause.) I thank you as your Commander-in-Chief because you inspire me. Your willingness to serve, to step forward at a time of war, and say “send me,” is the reason the United States stays strong and free. Of all the honors that I have serving as President, nothing matches serving as your Commander-in-Chief. (Applause.)

But I’m also here representing 300 million Americans who want to say thank you as well. (Applause.) I know sometimes when you’re over here, away from home, away from family, you may not truly absorb how much the folks back home are thinking about you. So I just want you to know when it comes to supporting you and your families, the American people stand united. We support you. We are proud of you. We stand in awe of your service.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/05/25/remarks-president-troops-bagram-air-base-afghanistan

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May 27, 2014

Statement by the President on Afghanistan

Rose Garden

2:46 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, everybody.  As you know, this weekend, I traveled to Afghanistan to thank our men and women in uniform and our deployed civilians, on behalf of a grateful nation, for the extraordinary sacrifices they make on behalf of our security.  I was also able to meet with our commanding General and Ambassador to review the progress that we’ve made.  And today, I’d like to update the American people on the way forward in Afghanistan and how, this year, we will bring America’s longest war to a responsible end.

The United States did not seek this fight.  We went into Afghanistan out of necessity, after our nation was attacked by al Qaeda on September 11th, 2001.  We went to war against al Qaeda and its extremist allies with the strong support of the American people and their representatives in Congress; with the international community and our NATO allies; and with the Afghan people, who welcomed the opportunity of a life free from the dark tyranny of extremism.

We have now been in Afghanistan longer than many Americans expected.  But make no mistake — thanks to the skill and sacrifice of our troops, diplomats, and intelligence professionals, we have struck significant blows against   al Qaeda’s leadership, we have eliminated Osama bin Laden, and we have prevented Afghanistan from being used to launch attacks against our homeland.  We have also supported the Afghan people as they continue the hard work of building a democracy.  We’ve extended more opportunities to their people, including women and girls.  And we’ve helped train and equip their own security forces.

Now we’re finishing the job we started.  Over the last several years, we’ve worked to transition security responsibilities to the Afghans.  One year ago, Afghan forces assumed the lead for combat operations.  Since then, they’ve continued to grow in size and in strength, while making huge sacrifices for their country.  This transition has allowed us to steadily draw down our own forces — from a peak of 100,000 U.S. troops, to roughly 32,000 today.

2014, therefore, is a pivotal year.  Together with our allies and the Afghan government, we have agreed that this is the year we will conclude our combat mission in Afghanistan. This is also a year of political transition in Afghanistan.  Earlier this spring, Afghans turned out in the millions to vote in the first round of their presidential election — defying threats in order to determine their own destiny.  And in just over two weeks, they will vote for their next President, and Afghanistan will see its first democratic transfer of power in history.

In the context of this progress, having consulted with Congress and my national security team, I’ve determined the nature of the commitment that America is prepared to make beyond 2014.  Our objectives are clear:  Disrupting threats posed by   al Qaeda; supporting Afghan security forces; and giving the Afghan people the opportunity to succeed as they stand on their own.

Here’s how we will pursue those objectives.  First, America’s combat mission will be over by the end of this year. Starting next year, Afghans will be fully responsible for securing their country.  American personnel will be in an advisory role.  We will no longer patrol Afghan cities or towns, mountains or valleys.  That is a task for the Afghan people.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/05/27/statement-president-afghanistan

]http://youtu.be/HrtZ1VPC56o

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Key Points in President Obama’s 5/27/14 speech:

If the new Afghan government signs the bilateral secuirty agreement that has already been negoiated then:

* America’s combat mission will be over by by the end of 2014
* Starting 2015 America will have 9,800 US service members in different parts of Afghanistan in an advisory role of training Afghan forces and supporting against the remnants of Al Quaida
* All patrolling and securing of Afghanistan wiill be done exclusively by Afghanistans
* By the end of 2015 US service members will be reduced down to approximately 4,900 in Kabul and Bagram Air Field
* By the end of 2016 US service members will be drawn down to a normal embassy presence with a security existance component as in Iraq

Fact Sheet: Bringing the U.S. War in Afghanistan to a Responsible End

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63 Responses to Pres Obama Addresses America From Bagram AFB

  1. CR says:

    WH

    Tuesday Night, May 1, 2012

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama makes unannounced visit to Afghanistan.

    5:30 PM
    President Obama Speaks at Troop Rally
    Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan

    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM

    7:30 PM
    President Obama addresses the American people
    Bagram Air Force Base, Afghanistan

  2. CR says:

    President Arrives in Kabul to Sign Pact, Address Nation

    President Arrives in Kabul to Sign Pact, Address Nation

    May 1, 2012 By Jim Garamone- American Forces Press Service

    WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama arrived in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul today for a whirlwind visit with Afghan and NATO leaders, White House officials announced.
    Air Force One landed at Bagram Airfield east of Kabul, and the president transferred to a waiting helicopter. He will make an address to the American people at 7:30 EDT tonight.

    Obama is meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and the press pool traveling with him reported that the two leaders signed the recently agreed-upon strategic partnership agreement between their governments shortly after Obama’s arrival at the presidential palace.

    The agreement charts the long-term relationship between the United States and Afghanistan after 2014. The agreement is meant to reassure Afghans that the United States will continue to support the nation in the decade ahead, officials said.

    Defense Department officials have said a number of American service members will remain in Afghanistan beyond 2014 to advise and train Afghan soldiers and police.

    U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan C. Crocker and Army Lt. Gen. Curtis M. Scaparotti, commander of International Security Assistance Force Joint Command, greeted the president upon his arrival.

    The visit coincides with the one-year anniversary of the mission that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

    According to the pool report, “the timing of the trip was driven by the negotiations over the strategic partnership agreement and by the desire of both presidents to sign the agreement in Afghanistan prior to the NATO summit in Chicago later this month.”
    This is Obama’s fourth trip to Afghanistan.

    • CR says:

      May 01, 2012

      Remarks by President Obama and President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan at Signing of Strategic Partnership Agreement

      Presidential Palace, Kabul, Afghanistan

      May 2, 2012 AFT

      12:00 A.M. AFT

      PRESIDENT KARZAI: (Interpretation begins in progress) — prosperity and peace for the people of Afghanistan.

      Stability in Afghanistan and peace in Afghanistan — people will sleep, will be safe in their house, and also law-abiding citizens. Their life will be — will not threat their life by any forces. The people of Afghanistan in past three decades, they didn’t have this, so now they want. This is the responsibility of government of Afghanistan to fulfill the wishes of the people of Afghanistan to a better life, better future, and peace and prosperity and changing to reality for them.

      For us, people of Afghanistan, this is a very important year in our life of our country and the people of Afghanistan. The people of Afghanistan want the transition of Afghanistan before 2014, end of 2014, with all the responsibility and take the responsibility for the people of Afghanistan as one of our responsibility we have to take.

      Accepting this responsibility — all the forces who were in Afghanistan the past 10 years, they worked with us, helped us and supported us — go back to their country. And of course, the people of Afghanistan will never forget their help and their support, and also their relationship with this country. We will start a new start with this relationship and we will continue with this relationship.

      Mr. President, sir, I just want to say all the help and support the people of the United States to the people of Afghanistan did, I thank you for that from the bottom of my heart, sir. And I just thank you. And also, we just want to thank you, sir, for all the — which is provide all the necessity to bring this strategic partnership for signing tonight. And I just thank you, all your team — Ryan Crocker, Ambassador Crocker, General Allen — I thank them for the hard work that with our team worked together. They very patiently worked together to continue this dialogue. Today we will see the result of this talking and communication — today we sign.

      And I just want to thank you. I just ask you, sir, to — give your speech, sir. Thank you very much.

      PRESIDENT OBAMA: President Karzai, the leaders of the Afghan government and society who are here, and most of all, to the Afghan people, thank you so much for welcoming me here today, especially in these beautiful surroundings.

      I, too, want to thank Ambassador Ryan Crocker and National Security Advisor Spanta and their teams for the extraordinary work that brought about this day.

      I’ve come to Afghanistan to mark a historic moment for our two nations, and to do so on Afghan soil. I’m here to affirm the bonds between our countries, to thank American and Afghans who have sacrificed so much over these last 10 years, and to look forward to a future of peace and security and greater prosperity for our nations.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/05/01/remarks-president-obama-and-president-hamid-karzai-afghanistan-signing-s

    • CR says:

      May 1, 2012

      Fact Sheet: The U.S.-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement

      In May 2010, in Washington, DC, President Obama and President Karzai committed our two countries to negotiate and conclude a strategic partnership that would provide a framework for our future relationship. On May 1, 2012, President Obama and President Karzai signed the Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United States of America.

      The Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) is a legally binding executive agreement, undertaken between two sovereign nations. The President’s goal in negotiating such an agreement has been to define with the Afghan Government what’s on the other side of Transition and the completed drawdown of U.S. forces. The agreement the President signed today will detail how the partnership between the United States and Afghanistan will be normalized as we look beyond a responsible end to the war. Through this Agreement, we seek to cement an enduring partnership with Afghanistan that strengthens Afghan sovereignty, stability and prosperity, and that contributes to our shared goal of defeating Al Qaeda and its extremist affiliates.

      The Agreement signed today affirms that cooperation between Afghanistan and the United States is based on mutual respect and shared interests. In this Agreement, we commit ourselves to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan. The Agreement is not only a signal of the United States’ long-term commitment to Afghanistan, but it enshrines our commitments to one another and a common vision for our relationship and Afghanistan’s future. U.S. commitments to support Afghanistan’s social and economic development, security, institutions and regional cooperation are matched by Afghan commitments to strengthen accountability, transparency, oversight, and to protect the human rights of all Afghans – men and women.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/05/01/fact-sheet-us-afghanistan-strategic-partnership-agreement

      pres_obama_pres_karzai_5-2-2012

      President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai sign a strategic partnership agreement at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, May 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

    • CR says:

      troops_leave_afghanistan

      By the Numbers: 23,000

      Megan Slack May 03, 2012 12:12 PM EDT

      On Tuesday, President Obama made an unannounced trip to Afghanistan to sign the Strategic Partnership Agreement with President Hamid Karzai, which provides a framework for the relationship between our two nations moving forward as U.S. forces leave the country and Afghans continue the transition to take control of their own security.

      In his address to the American people after signing the agreement, President Obama announced that 23,000 U.S. troops will leave Afghanistan by the end of the summer, and by the end of 2014, Afghan forces will be fully responsible for the security of their country.

      As the war there comes to an end, the agreement the two leaders signed lays out how the United States and Afghanistan will work together to strengthen Afghan sovereignty, stability and prosperity, and advance our shared goal of defeating al Qaeda and contributing to the security of the region.

      For the entire article; http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/05/03/numbers-23000

    • CR says:

      May 21, 2012

      Remarks by the President at ISAF Meeting on Afghanistan
      NATO Chicago 2012 Summit
      McCormick Place
      Chicago, Illinois

      9:24 A.M. CDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Well, good morning, everyone. And for those who are joining us for the first time, welcome to Chicago. I was just hearing from a few folks who are not NATO members that they had fun on the town last night. Hopefully, no stories in the press. (Laughter.)

      We come together as 50 nations — NATO allies and partners — that make up the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. I want to welcome the presence of President Karzai, as well as officials from central Asia and Russia — nations that have an important perspective and that continue to provide critical transit for ISAF supplies.

      The presence of so many leaders and nations illustrates once again that this is a truly international mission, and that’s because the region and the world have a profound interest in an Afghanistan that is stable, that is secure, and that is not a source of attacks on other nations. And today, as always, our thoughts are with our brave forces who are serving in this vital mission.

      Two years ago, in Lisbon, our nations agreed on a framework for transition in Afghanistan that would allow us to responsibly wind down the war. We agreed that this transition to Afghan lead for security would begin in 2011 and that it would conclude in 2014. At the same time, we said that we would seek a long-term partnership with Afghanistan and the Afghan people.

      Over the past two years, we’ve made important progress. Our forces broke the Taliban’s momentum. More Afghans are reclaiming their communities. Afghan security forces have grown stronger. And the transition that we agreed to in Lisbon is well underway.

      This past week we saw more progress. We very much welcomed President Karzai’s announcement to the third group of areas to begin transition. This means that 75 percent of the Afghan people live in areas where Afghan forces will be moving into the lead.

      Today, we’ll decide the next phase of the transition — the next milestone. We’ll set a goal for Afghan forces to take the lead for combat operations across the country in 2013 — next year — so that ISAF can move to a supporting role. This will be another step toward Afghans taking full lead for their security as agreed to by 2014 when the ISAF combat mission will end.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/05/21/remarks-president-isaf-meeting-afghanistan

    • CR says:

      Welcoming Home Our Veterans

      Published on Jul 23, 2012 by BarackObamadotcom
      Learn more: http://OFA.BO/ooJZtN

      Since day one, President Obama has made it a priority to keep the sacred trust we hold with those who wear the uniform of the United States and their families.

      In advance of the President’s remarks at the VFW Convention in Reno, Obama for America released this video that discusses the President’s commitment to keeping our nation’s sacred promise to our veterans. This video highlights a St. Louis parade organized to welcome our servicemembers home from Iraq.

      Learn how President Obama continues to better serve those who have served this nation and how you can get involved with Veterans and Military Familes for Obama: http://OFA.BO/ooJZtN

    • CR says:

      McRaven gives ‘fantastic’ Obama credit for bin Laden raid

      By JOSH GERSTEIN | 7/26/12 1:06 AM EDT POLITICO

      ASPEN, Colo.—Republicans trying to play down President Barack Obama’s decision to launch the raid that led to the death of Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden are not getting much help from the military brass who oversaw the operation.

      During a rare public interview on Wednesday, Adm. Bill McRaven, head of the U.S. Special Operations command, portrayed as bold and brave Obama’s decision to order the raid despite significant doubts about whether bin Laden was at the Abbottabad, Pakistan compound.

      “At the end of the day, make no mistake about it, it was the president of the United States that shouldered the burden of this operation, that made the hard decision,” McRaven said during an on-stage interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that served as the kickoff session of the Aspen Security Forum.

      Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has suggested that the decision to launch the raid was a no-brainer. “Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order,” Romney said in April.

      McRaven refused to respond Wednesday when asked whether he agreed with Romney that any president would have made the same decision Obama did. However, at a couple of junctures, the Special Operations commander offered effusive praise for Obama.

      “The president of the United States is fantastic,” the admiral said. “I’m not a political guy. I’ve worked in both [administrations,] very much enjoyed working with President Bush and I very much enjoy working for President Obama. This isn’t about politics. This is about a Commander in Chief who I have the opportunity to engage with on a routine basis.”

      McRaven also had high praise for Obama’s national security team, including those in place at the time of the raid, such as then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, then-Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, Deputy National Security Advisers Denis McDonough and John Brennan.

      “I’m not a political guy, but I’ll tell you as an interested observer of this, they were magnfiicent how they handled the start-to-finish,” McRaven said. “The president asked all the right questions…The president gave me ample time to prepare once the conversations were through.”

      McRaven, like all military officers, serves at the pleasure of the president. A few weeks before the bin Laden raid, Obama nominated McRaven to take over the Special Operations command and be elevated to four-star admiral. McRaven, who was deeply involved in planning and executing the May 2011 raid, was confirmed by the Senate to his current post the following month.

      • CR says:

        Sharp Decline in Terror Attacks After Bin Laden Death

        8/1/12 By Dana Hughes | ABC OTUS News – 14 hrs ago

        The number of worldwide terror attacks fell to 10,283 last year, down from 11,641 in 2010 and the lowest since 2005, the State Department reported today.

        What’s made the difference? The State Department cites the May 2011 killing of Osama bin Laden and other top al Qaeda members killed last year including Atiyah Abd al-Rahman and Anwar al-Awlaki, who was the head of Yemen’s Al Qaeda affiliate and had ties to the underwear bomber plot in 2010.

        “The loss of bin Laden and these other key operatives puts the network on a path of decline that will be difficult to reverse,” the report stated.

        But Ambassador Dan Benjamin, the State Department’s coordinator for counter-terrorism, warned that for all the good news about the core of al Qaeda being weakened, affiliates of the group, particularly in Yemen and in Africa, continue to pose a real risk.

        Nigeria was one of the few countries which actually saw an increase in terror attacks last year because of Boko Haram, and Kenya and Somalia continue to experience attacks by a weakened Al Shabab. Benjamin also noted that the Arab spring and other countries in transition could leave important allies like Egypt and Iraq vulnerable to terror groups.

        “Inspiring as the moment may be, we are not blind to the attendant perils. Terrorists could still cause significant disruptions for states undergoing very challenging democratic transitions. Affiliates of the group, and violent extremist ideology and rhetoric continue to spread in some parts of the world,” said Benjamin.

        For more: http://news.yahoo.com/sharp-decline-terror-attacks-bin-laden-death-213958117–abc-news-politics.html

    • CR says:

      Karl Marlantes on What It’s Like to Go to War

      July 27, 2012 billmoyers

      Summary: Bill talks to Karl Marlantes — a highly-decorated Vietnam veteran, Rhodes Scholar, author, and PTSD survivor — about what we on the insulated outside need to understand about the minds and hearts of our modern warriors. Marlantes shares with Bill intimate stories about how his battlefield experiences both shaped and nearly destroyed him, even after returning to civilian life.

      “’Thou shalt not kill’ is a tenet you just do not violate, and so all your young life, that’s drilled into your head. And then suddenly, you’re 18 or 19 and they’re saying, ‘Go get ‘em and kill for your country.’ And then you come back and it’s like, ‘Well, thou shalt not kill’ again. Believe me, that’s a difficult thing to deal with,” Marlantes tells Bill. “You take a young man and put him in the role of God, where he is asked to take a life — that’s something no 19-year-old is able to handle.”

      For the audio interview: http://billmoyers.com/segment/karl-marlantes-on-what-its-like-to-go-to-war/

  3. CR says:

    Next Up…

    5:30 PM EDT
    President Obama Speaks at Troop Rally
    Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan

    • CR says:

      May 01, 2012

      Remarks by the President to the Troops in Afghanistan

      Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan

      1:21 A.M. AFT

      THE PRESIDENT: Hooah! How’s everybody doing tonight? Hooah! (Applause.)

      TROOPS: Hooah! (Applause.)

      THE PRESIDENT: It is good to be back here with all of you. (Applause.)

      I’ve got a few acknowledgments I’ve got to make before I say what I’ve got to say. First of all, somebody who has served our country with the kind of distinction that doesn’t happen a lot, somebody who has been a leader for you and a leader for our country for a very long time — give your commander, General John Allen, a big, big round of applause. (Applause.)

      We also have somebody who is John’s partner on the civilian side and has made extraordinary sacrifices, first in Iraq, now in Afghanistan — Ambassador Ryan Crocker is here. Please give him a big round of applause. (Applause.)

      All right, now, let me just see if I’ve got this right. We’ve got the First Infantry Division in the house. (Hooah!) We’ve got the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing. (Hooah!) We’ve got the Task Force Muleskinner. (Hooah!) We’ve got the 101st Army Field Sustainment Brigade.

      AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hooah! (Laughter.)

      THE PRESIDENT: We’ve got Task Force Paladin in the house. (Hooah!) And we’ve got Task Force Defender in the house. (Hooah!) And we’ve got me in the house. (Applause.) Eighty-second in the house — 82nd in the house. (Hooah!) You know, somebody is going to be in trouble that they didn’t have 82nd on here. Anybody else I’m missing? There you go. All right. I love all of you.

      Now, listen, I’m not going to give a long speech. I’m going to have the opportunity to address the nation from Bagram just in a little bit, and it’s going to be broadcast back home during primetime. So all I want to do is just say thank you.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/05/01/remarks-president-troops

  4. Kat 4 Obama says:

    I’m already sitting here waiting to watch!

    >^..^<

  5. CR says:

    Next Up..

    7:30 PM EDT
    President Obama addresses the American people from Bagram Air Force Base, Afghanistan

    WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

    CNN http://live.cnn.com

    CSPAN http://www.c-span.org/Events/President-Obama-Addresses-the-Nation-from-Afghanistan/10737430361/

    Department of Defense http://www.defense.gov/

    • Kat 4 Obama says:

      Where this time of war began, it also ends. That is leadership.

    • CR says:

      May 01, 2012
      Remarks by President Obama in Address to the Nation from Afghanistan

      Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan

      4:01 A.M. AFT

      THE PRESIDENT: Good evening from Bagram Air Base. This outpost is more than 7,000 miles from home, but for over a decade it’s been close to our hearts. Because here, in Afghanistan, more than half a million of our sons and daughters have sacrificed to protect our country.

      Today, I signed a historic agreement between the United States and Afghanistan that defines a new kind of relationship between our countries — a future in which Afghans are responsible for the security of their nation, and we build an equal partnership between two sovereign states; a future in which war ends, and a new chapter begins.

      Tonight, I’d like to speak to you about this transition. But first, let us remember why we came here. It was here, in Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden established a safe haven for his terrorist organization. It was here, in Afghanistan, where al Qaeda brought new recruits, trained them, and plotted acts of terror. It was here, from within these borders, that al Qaeda launched the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 innocent men, women and children.

      And so, 10 years ago, the United States and our allies went to war to make sure that al Qaeda could never again use this country to launch attacks against us. Despite initial success, for a number of reasons, this war has taken longer than most anticipated. In 2002, bin Laden and his lieutenants escaped across the border and established safe haven in Pakistan. America spent nearly eight years fighting a different war in Iraq. And al Qaeda’s extremist allies within the Taliban have waged a brutal insurgency.

      But over the last three years, the tide has turned. We broke the Taliban’s momentum. We’ve built strong Afghan security forces. We devastated al Qaeda’s leadership, taking out over 20 of their top 30 leaders. And one year ago, from a base here in Afghanistan, our troops launched the operation that killed Osama bin Laden. The goal that I set — to defeat al Qaeda and deny it a chance to rebuild — is now within our reach.

      Still, there will be difficult days ahead. The enormous sacrifices of our men and women are not over. But tonight, I’d like to tell you how we will complete our mission and end the war in Afghanistan.

      First, we’ve begun a transition to Afghan responsibility for security. Already, nearly half of the Afghan people live in places where Afghan security forces are moving into the lead. This month, at a NATO Summit in Chicago, our coalition will set a goal for Afghan forces to be in the lead for combat operations across the country next year. International troops will continue to train, advise and assist the Afghans, and fight alongside them when needed. But we will shift into a support role as Afghans step forward.

      For the entire article; http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/05/01/remarks-president-obama-address-nation-afghanistan

  6. Please join me in lighting a candle for President, as he travels from Afghanistan.

    http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng&gi=PBO

  7. CR says:

    WH

    Wednesday, May 2, 2012

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    10:40 AM
    The President arrives Joint Base Andrews
    Travel Pool Coverage

    10:55 AM
    The President arrives the White House
    South Lawn
    Open Press

    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    1:25 PM
    President Obama arrives at Joint Base Andrews.

    1:40 PM
    President Obama arrives at the White House.

    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    3:45 PM
    President Obama participates in an Ambassador Credentialing Ceremony.
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    4:00 PM
    4:30 PM
    President Obama attends a campaign event
    The W Hotel, Washington, DC

    5:00 PM
    5:30 PM
    President Obama attends a campaign event
    The W Hotel, Washington, DC

    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    Vice President Biden will address students at Lafayette College at the Kirby Sports Center
    Easton, PA

    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  8. CR says:

    NBC’s interview with President Obama in the Situation Room will air on May 2

    • CR says:

      White House explains Situation Room interview

      4/27/12 By DONOVAN SLACK – POLIITCO44

      POLITICO’s Dylan Byers got an explanation from White House National Security Council spokesperson Tommy Vietor on why the administration allowed the NBC interview and the reasons for its unusual setting:

      “The piece is in large part pegged off of that iconic situation room photo,” National Security Council spokesperson Tommy Vietor explained via email. “A year later there’s still enormous interest in the events of that day and the operation to kill UBL,” he added. “This is another window into that remarkable day.”

      Vietor added that the White House held a video tour of the facility on its blog, and that the Bush Administration gave reporters a tour of the situation room in 2006.

      “The conference rooms NBC filmed are really just meeting spaces,” he said. “The room itself is only classified if the topic being discussed is classified. There are daily meetings in the Situation Room about non-national security issues. I’ve had reporters in the Situation Room a number of times, and you’ve seen countless images of meetings in the Situation Room (for example the UBL raid or the Af/Pak meetings in 2009). Standard rules applied to the NBC staff – cellphone and blackberries are left at the door, and in this case they always had Situation Room and NSS staff with them.”‘

  9. CR says:

    Vice President Biden to Speak at Lafayette May 2

    April 3, 2012 lafayette.edu

    Lafayette will host an address by Joe Biden, vice president of the United States at 7pm on Wednesday, May 2 in Kirby Sports Cener.

    The event is free and open to the public, but attendance will require a ticket. Details on obtaining tickets will be announced closer to the event.]

    For the entire article: https://www.lafayette.edu/about/news/2012/04/03/vice-president-joe-bidens-address-changed-to-may-2/

  10. CR says:

    GOP WRONG WAY

    Conservatives force Grenell’s ouster

    May 1, 2012 By Steve Benen – maddowblog

    Just two weeks ago, the Romney campaign hired Richard Grenell to serve as the Republican’s spokesperson on foreign policy. And while this isn’t ordinarily a high-profile position, the decision proved to be problematic for a couple of reasons.

    From the left, Grenell proved to be controversial because of a series of social-media messages that targeted women in politics and media with sexist language. From the right, Grenell was criticized for being gay, which some religious right activists found outrageous because, well, they just don’t like gay people.

    Today, Jennifer Rubin reports that Grenell has been “hounded form the Romney campaign by anti-gay conservatives,” just two weeks after joining Team Romney.

    Pieces in two conservative publications, the National Review and Daily Caller, reflected the uproar by some social conservatives over the appointment. [...]

    The ongoing pressure from social conservatives over his appointment and the reluctance of the Romney campaign to send Grenell out as a spokesman while controversy swirled left Grenell essentially with no job.

    The larger significance of this is what it tells us about Romney’s relative weakness in the face of pressure from his base. The former governor hired a qualified former Bush administration official; the right said gay people are bad people; so Romney quickly accepted his own staffer’s resignation, despite the fact that the aide had done nothing wrong on the job. Romney was comfortable with Grenell’s misogynistic tweets before getting the job, but uncomfortable with anti-gay animus from the right after Grenell was already on the job.

    For the entire article: http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/05/01/11489342-conservatives-force-grenells-ouster?lite

  11. CR says:

    Romney, Giuliani face heckler at New York City event

    5/1/12 By Holly Bailey | The Ticket – 3 hrs ago

    Mitt Romney marked the one-year anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death by joining former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani at a Manhattan firehouse that served as the city’s first response center in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

    But the photo op was hijacked by a female heckler, who loudly accused Romney of being a “racist” for his stance on immigration reform.

    “Mitt Romney is a racist!” she repeatedly screamed, drowning out Romney’s comments and those made by Giuliani as well. “Racist! Racist!”

    Her screams appeared to have prompted Romney aides to cut the presumptive Republican nominee’s talk short. While Romney did not acknowledge the protester, the candidate walked away from the microphone after just five minutes and moved toward his waiting SUV.

    When Giuliani did not follow, Romney awkwardly returned to the microphone to thank the former mayor for joining him at the event. As the protester continued to assail Romney—bellowing expletives at the GOP candidate, including “F*** you, Mitt Romney!”—he exited the scene again, this time for good.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/romney-giuliani-face-heckler-nyc-event-194457730.html

    • COS says:

      Hey CR, I heard the person calling him a “racist”. It sure was a dumb idea to go there today after criticizing PBO.

      • CR says:

        Hi COS, yup that was not a bright idea. But then again Romney has done many a weird things.

  12. CR says:

    Dow hits four-year high, lifted by factory data

    5/1/12 By Edward Krudy | Reuters – 17 mins ago

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Dow closed at its highest level in more than four years on Tuesday after U.S. manufacturing expanded at a faster pace than expected in April, easing jitters about a slowdown in the economic recovery.

    The Dow now sits at levels not seen since December 2007. The gains leave the benchmark S&P 500 within about 16 points of a high reached in May 2008. A convincing break above that level could set the market up for more gains, traders said.

    “That’s where a lot of traders’ eyes are right now – it might be tough to get through there the first time,” said Michael James, senior trader at Wedbush Morgan in Los Angeles.

    But the Nasdaq sold off sharply into the close on weakness in Apple and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion in a sign the market could struggle to make further headway in the short-term.

    The Institute for Supply Management said U.S. manufacturing growth came in at its strongest rate in 10 months in April. That reading suggested the economy remains resilient after indications it had lost momentum at the start of the second quarter.

    Early gains this year have been held in check in recent weeks on worries about U.S. economic growth.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/dow-hits-four-high-lifted-factory-data-015112820–finance.html

    • CR says:

      US factory growth shows economy more resilient

      5/1/12 By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER | Associated Press – 5 hrs ago

      WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturing grew last month at the fastest pace in 10 months, suggesting that the economy is healthier than recent data had indicated.

      New orders, production and a measure of hiring all rose. The April survey from the Institute for Supply Management was a hopeful sign ahead of Friday’s monthly jobs report and helped the Dow Jones industrial average end the day at its highest level in more than four years.

      The trade group of purchasing managers said Tuesday that its index of manufacturing activity reached 54.8 in April, the highest level since June. Readings above 50 indicate expansion.

      The sharp increase surprised analysts, who had predicted a decline after several regional reports showed manufacturing growth weakened last month. The gain led investors to shift money out of bonds and into stocks. The Dow Jones industrial added 66 points to 13,279, its best close since Dec. 28, 2007. Broader indexes also surged.

      The ISM manufacturing index is closely watched in part because it’s the first major economic report for each month. April’s big gain followed a series of weaker reports in recent weeks that showed hiring slowed, applications for unemployment benefits rose and factory output dropped.

      “This survey will ease concerns that the softer tone of the incoming news in recent months marked the start of a renewed slowdown in growth,” Paul Dales, an economist at Capital Economics, said in a note to clients. “We think the latest recovery is made of sterner stuff, although we doubt it will set the world alight.”

      The latest reading is well above the recession low of 33.1 and above the long-run average of 52.8. But it’s still below the pre-recession high of 61.4.

      Dan Meckstroth, chief economist at the Manufacturers’ Alliance, notes that in the past 20 years, the index has been at or above 54.8 only one-third of the time.

      A measure of employment in the ISM’s survey rose to a 10-month high. That indicates that factories are hiring at a solid pace.

      For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/us-factory-growth-shows-economy-more-resilient-195740775–finance.html

  13. CR says:

    Exclusive: U.S., allies urge sanctions for North Korea firms; China resists

    5/1/12 By Louis Charbonneau | Reuters – 3 hrs ago

    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United States, European Union, South Korea and Japan have submitted a list of about 40 North Korean companies to the U.N. Security Council’s sanctions committee for possible blacklisting due to Pyongyang’s recent rocket launch, envoys said on Tuesday.

    The committee, which includes all 15 Security Council members, received an initial response from China that it would only consent to adding two entities to the U.N. list of banned North Korean firms, which the United States and its allies see as too few, envoys told Reuters on the condition of anonymity.

    “The U.S., Europeans, Japan and ROK (South Korea) have together produced a list of around 40 entities to be designated by the 1718 Committee,” a senior diplomat told Reuters. “The challenge remains as usual squarely on PRC (China).”

    The United States was continuing to press China to allow more North Korean firms to be sanctioned, envoys said.

    The North Korea sanctions panel is known at the United Nations as the “1718 committee.” It refers to the first sanctions resolution on North Korea, council resolution number 1718, which the council adopted in 2006 after Pyongyang’s first nuclear test.

    It passed another, more stringent sanctions resolution in 2009 after North Korea’s second nuclear test.

    Last month, the council in a “presidential statement,” strongly condemned North Korea’s April 13 rocket launch, called for adding names to the list of those hit by existing U.N. sanctions and warned Pyongyang of further consequences if it carried out another missile launch or nuclear test.

    It was not immediately clear which firms the council would blacklist.

    The United States, European council members, Japan and South Korea have also proposed expanding the U.N. list of goods that North Korea is forbidden to import, diplomats said. They said the proposed banned goods related to missile technology.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/exclusive-u-eu-south-korea-japan-urge-sanctions-170250677–finance.html

  14. CR says:

    Secretary Clinton: Travel to China, Bangladesh, and India

    April 30, 2012 to May 8, 2012 state.gov

    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is on travel to China, Bangladesh, and India departing Washington, D.C. on April 30.

    In Beijing May 3-4, Secretary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner will join their Chinese co-chairs, Vice Premier Wang Qishan and State Councilor Dai Bingguo, for the fourth joint meeting of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED). As with earlier S&EDs, this year’s event will be a “whole of government” dialogue that brings together cabinet members and agency heads, as well as other officials and experts, from agencies across both of our governments. In addition, Secretary Clinton will co-chair with Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong the third U.S.-China High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) taking place May 3-4 in Beijing. The CPE aims to enhance and strengthen ties between the citizens of the United States and China in the areas of culture, education, sports, science and technology, and women’s issues.

    The Secretary will then travel to Bangladesh and India from May 5-8, making stops in Dhaka, Kolkata, and New Delhi. In Dhaka, Secretary Clinton will meet with senior government of Bangladesh officials and civil society representatives to review robust U.S.-Bangladesh cooperation across the full range of political, economic, and security matters. In Kolkata, the Secretary looks forward to meeting state officials and other civil society organization representatives. In New Delhi she will meet with Indian government officials to review progress in the strategic partnership, looking forward to the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue to be held in Washington, D.C. on June 13 and to be co-chaired by Secretary Clinton and Indian Minister of External Affairs S.M. Krishna.

    For the entire article: http://www.state.gov/secretary/trvl/2012/188536.htm

  15. CR says:

    Obama to ambassador credentialing, fundraisers

    5/2/12 5:00 AM EDT POLITICO44

    President Obama returns from Afghanistan Wednesday morning after a surprise whirlwind visit that culminated in the signing of a new agreement with the Afghan government.

    In the afternoon, Obama will formally credential ambassadors from Korea, Qatar, Chile, Haiti, Guatemala, Thailand, Croatia, Kosovo, Liberia and Malaysia.

    In the evening, Obama will attend campaign events at the W Hotel in Washington D.C.

  16. CR says:

    Mortgage Purchase Applications Rose Last Week

    2 May 2012 | 7:11 AM By: Reuters

    Applications for U.S. home mortgages edged up last week, boosted by stronger demand for purchases for the second week in a row, an industry group said on Wednesday.

    The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, rose 0.1 percent in the week ended April 27.

    The MBA’s seasonally adjusted index of loan requests for home purchases gained 2.9 percent, but the gauge of refinancing applications slipped 0.7 percent.

    The refinance share of total mortgage activity eased to 72.6 percent of applications from 73.4 percent the previous week.

    Fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 4.05 percent in the week, up 1 basis point from 4.04 percent.

    The survey covers over 75 percent of U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, according to the MBA.

  17. CR says:

    Good Wednesday morning everyone! I HOPE that you have a good day! :)

  18. CR says:

    Private sector adds 119,000 jobs in April: ADP

    5/2/12 Reporting By Leah Schnurr – Reuters – 25 mins ago

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Private employers added 119,000 jobs in April, far fewer than expected, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday.

    Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP National Employment Report would show a gain of 177,000 jobs. The report is jointly developed with Macroeconomic Advisers LLC.

  19. CR says:

    ******** OUT OF OFFICE *********

    I am going to the emergency room for stitches to my hand

  20. Good morning CR and PPO Family. HOPE you all have a great Wednesday. So happy that our President is home safe.

    Please join me in lighting a candle for our President, First Family and the Nation.

    http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng&gi=PBO

  21. CR says:

    4:30 PM EDT
    President Obama attends a campaign event
    The W Hotel, Washington, DC

  22. CR says:

    5:30 PM EDT
    President Obama attends a campaign event
    The W Hotel, Washington, DC

  23. CR says:

    7:00 PM EDT
    Vice President Biden will address students at Lafayette College at the Kirby Sports Center
    Easton, PA

  24. CR says:

    May 13, 2012

    Statement by the President on Afghan Transition

    I welcome President Karzai’s announcement today of the third tranche of areas to transition to Afghan security lead, which is an important step forward in our effort to achieve our objectives in Afghanistan. As transition proceeds in these areas, nearly 75 percent of the population of Afghanistan will be living in provinces, districts and villages where Afghan forces are leading. The Afghan National Security Forces are strengthening their capacity as we remain on track to meet our goal of having the Afghan government fully responsible for security across the country by the end of 2014. A week from now, world leaders will gather at the NATO Summit in Chicago to discuss how we can effectively advance the transition process as our forces move from combat to a support role, and demonstrate our enduring support for the Afghan Government and Afghan National Security Forces. I look forward to meeting with President Karzai and my fellow leaders in Chicago to discuss these critical steps that will strengthen Afghan sovereignty while responsibly winding down the war.

  25. CR says:

    The deep, real spending cuts we’ve already passed—and that no one talks about

    December 9, 2012 at 3:47 pm Posted by Suzy Khimm – washingtonpost

    The prospect of cutting Medicare benefits in a “fiscal cliff” deal has prompted an outcry from concerned liberals. But whether or not legislators actually end up raising the Medicare age or paring back Social Security payments, domestic benefits and services—ranging from veterans’ health care and low-income housing to Head Start programs—are going to get squeezed over the next 10 years.

    Last year’s debt-ceiling agreement included $1.5 trillion in cuts to discretionary programs through 10-year spending caps that are already in effect. According to a new analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the domestic programs subject to the spending caps will face a $615 billion shortfall if they keep their benefits and services at 2012 levels. If such, they’ll be forced to scale back unless Congress decides otherwise—and right now, the Republicans want even less money spent on these domestic programs, not more.

    The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’s Richard Kogan breaks down the impact of the new spending caps:

    We estimate that, with the funds available under the caps, the federal government will fall about $350 billion short over the next ten years of delivering the same level of benefits and services for NDD programs as it did in 2012. This is because: (1) the costs of a number of key programs, especially VA medical care, are projected to grow substantially, and (2) Congress relied on certain temporary savings measures to meet the 2012 caps that it cannot repeat in the future. Furthermore, it would take an additional $265 billion over the next ten years to account for general population growth, which affects NDD programs ranging from Head Start to home-delivered meals for the elderly. In total, it would require $615 billion above what the caps allow to maintain the same level of benefits and servicesper person as in 2012.

    For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/09/the-deep-real-spending-cuts-weve-already-passed-and-that-no-one-talks-about/

  26. CR says:

    ‘Day of honor': Afghans take over national security from US-led forces

    6/18/13By Akbar Shinwari and Sohel Uddin, NBC News

    KABUL, Afghanistan – U.S.-led troops handed complete control of security to Afghanistan authorities Tuesday – an act of faith in country’s fledgling police and army in the face of near-constant insurgent attacks.

    The formal transfer of responsibility is major milestone in the process of withdrawal from the country, 12 years after NATO-led mission ISAF began its mission to end Taliban rule.

    However, a botched car bomb that killed at least three civilians just before the official handover ceremony raising renewed questions about how the country’s 352,000-strong security forces will tackle the militant threat.

    Most foreign combat troops will leave the country by the end of 2014, but international funding and humanitarian aid will continue – prolonging the political headache for President Barack Obama over America’s involvement in the conflict.

    “Today is a day for all Americans to take pride in the hard work our service members and their civilian counterparts are performing every day in Afghanistan,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a statement that called Tuesday’s handover a “critical milestone.

    For more: http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/18/19016608-day-of-honor-afghans-take-over-national-security-from-us-led-forces?lite

    ——-

    Afghan Forces Take Afghanistan Security Lead

    Published on Jun 18, 2013

    Afghan forces have taken over the security lead in Afghanistan, following an official handover from the US-led NATO coalition on Tuesday.

    • CR says:

      June 25, 2013

      Readout of President Obama’s Video Teleconference with President Karzai

      This morning, the President spoke with President Karzai of Afghanistan as a part of their regular consultations. They discussed a range of issues, including the transition of operational lead from coalition to Afghan security forces earlier this month, the importance of Afghan-led reconciliation efforts, preparations for Afghanistan’s 2014 elections, and the negotiation of a Bilateral Security Agreement.

      Specifically, the President welcomed the passage on June 18th of milestone 2013, which the two leaders agreed to during their January summit in Washington as the point at which Afghan security forces would take the lead for operations countrywide. The leaders reaffirmed that an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process is the surest way to end violence and ensure lasting stability in Afghanistan and the region, and they reiterated their support for an office in Doha for the purpose of negotiations between the High Peace Council and authorized representatives of the Taliban. President Karzai updated the President regarding preparations for Afghanistan’s 2014 elections, including the status of electoral legislation under review by Afghan leaders. The two Presidents reaffirmed that free, fair, and credible elections would be critical to Afghanistan’s future.

  27. CR says:

    May 25, 2014

    Remarks by the President to the Troops at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan

    REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
    TO U.S. TROOPS

    Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan

    THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Bagram! (Applause.) Well, I know it’s a little late, but I was in the neighborhood and thought I’d stop by. (Applause.) First of all, I want everybody to give a huge round of applause to your commander, General Joe Dunford. Please give him an outstanding, rousing acknowledgement. (Applause.) I am grateful to him for his leadership of our coalition here in Afghanistan, and for his lifetime of distinguished service — to the Marine Corps and to America.

    And can everybody please give it up to Brad Paisley? (Applause.) Now, I want to say this about Brad. First of all, he’s a great supporter of our troops, a great supporter of your families. Two years ago we had him at the White House to perform for troops and military families during the Fourth of July celebration. Him coming here today was not easy. He had just started a tour and he had to juggle a lot of stuff and had to try to figure out how to explain it to people without explaining it to people, and his wife and two young sons, and promoters and agents — and without going into details, this was a big sacrifice for him. And he did it because he cares so deeply about you. So I’m so grateful to him.

    I want to make clear, though, I will not be singing so —

    AUDIENCE: Awwww —

    THE PRESIDENT: Oh, you really want me to sing? (Applause.) No, but I do want to just say to Brad, thank you so much for doing this.

    I want to acknowledge our outstanding Ambassador, Jim Cunningham, who’s here, with his lovely wife. And Jim leads an incredible team of civilians — at our embassy and across this country. They are also making sacrifices, also away from their families, oftentimes themselves at risk as they serve. I know those of you in uniform couldn’t do your jobs without these Americans as your partners. So we salute the dedicated service of all the civilians who are here, led by Jim Cunningham. Give them a big round of applause. (Applause.)

    Now, I guess I also should mention that we’ve got a few folks here as part of the 10th Mountain Division — (applause) — “Climb To Glory.” (Applause.) We got the 455th Airwing in the house. (Applause.) Task Force Muleskinner — (applause) — Task Force Thunder — (applause — Task Force Rugged — (applause.)

    To all of you, I’m here on a single mission, and that is to thank you for your extraordinary service. (Applause.) I thank you as your Commander-in-Chief because you inspire me. Your willingness to serve, to step forward at a time of war, and say “send me,” is the reason the United States stays strong and free. Of all the honors that I have serving as President, nothing matches serving as your Commander-in-Chief. (Applause.)

    But I’m also here representing 300 million Americans who want to say thank you as well. (Applause.) I know sometimes when you’re over here, away from home, away from family, you may not truly absorb how much the folks back home are thinking about you. So I just want you to know when it comes to supporting you and your families, the American people stand united. We support you. We are proud of you. We stand in awe of your service.

    For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/05/25/remarks-president-troops-bagram-air-base-afghanistan

  28. CR says:

    *********************
    THIS POST IS NOW CLOSED

    NBLB Come on over to my newest post

    titled: “ Summer Jobs 2012”
    **********************

    To get to newest post click on “HOME” at the top of the page and click on the title of the newest post

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