President Barack Obama made a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Friday to meet with U.S. troops and talk to Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
The president will be in Bagram for the entirety of his three-hour trip, which is his second visit to the region since becoming president. He was originally scheduled to be in Kabul to meet with Karzai, but bad weather changed the schedule, according to pool reports. He will now speak to Karzai by phone.
Obama will meet with eight patients in a Bagram hospital and award four Purple Hearts. He is also scheduled to give a speech to the troops and will be introduced by Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. Central Command.
Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes told pool reporters that planning for the trip began a month ago and that the main reason for going was to spend time with troops during the holiday season. Rhodes said it is a “particularly tough time of the year” for people in the military and their families.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.