On the one-year anniversary of his announcement that Osama bin Laden had been killed, President Obama surprised our soldiers in Afghanistan with a visit. But this was no mere meet-and-greet event; there was business to attend to:
President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai signed an agreement that provides a framework for a lasting U.S. commitment to Afghanistan after the long and unpopular war comes to an end.
Standing in front of Afghan and U.S. flags, Obama and Karzai signed the Strategic Partnership Agreement just after midnight local time. Obama called it "a historic moment for our two nations," adding that the deal with Afghanistan allows the U.S. to wind down the war, but still stand by Afghanistan and its people.
"Neither Americans nor the Afghan people asked for this war, yet for a decade we've stood together," Obama said. "Today, with the signing of the strategic partnership agreement, we look forward to a future of peace. Today we're agreeing to be long term partners."
Karzai says the postwar agreement will seal an "equal partnership" between Afghanistan and the United States. According to pool reports, Karzai thanked the United States for helping the people of Afghanistan.
Obama and Karzai signed the agreement at the presidential palace in Kabul shortly after the U.S. president arrived in Afghanistan on Tuesday on an unannounced visit.
Update: The President's full address to the nation, the first for a President from an active war zone on foreign soil, is embedded below.
In a speech to explain to the American people the agreement between the US and Afghanistan, President Obama says, "The goal that I set - to defeat al Qaida, and deny it a chance to rebuild - is within reach. Watch the entire speech.