Honoring fallen heroes
A somber President Obama returns to the White House Tuesday after attending a solemn ceremony at Dover Air Force Base for 30 fallen U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan.
August 9th, 2011
07:24 PM ET

Honoring fallen heroes

President Obama attended a solemn ceremony Tuesday to honor the 30 fallen U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan this week.  The observation from a White House official traveling with the president shared with the press pool:  It was very sober, somber, serious atmosphere. Very dignified. An amazing display of the honor of the sacrifice.   Read more here


Topics: Afghanistan • President Obama • The News • The Visuals
August 8th, 2011
11:21 AM ET

Obama to speak at 1pm in the State Dining Room

The president will deliver remarks on the economy in general, addressing the downgrade by S & P, according to a White House official.  He will also make comments on the loss of Navy SEALs in Afghanistan.


Topics: Afghanistan • Economy
Honoring a hero
President Obama awards the Medal of Honor to Sergeant First Class Leroy Arthur Petry at a White House ceremony Tuesday.
July 12th, 2011
05:36 PM ET

Honoring a hero

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama awarded the nation's highest medal for bravery Tuesday to a soldier who lost his hand when an enemy grenade went off just as he was throwing it clear of his fellow soldiers in what the President called "a singular act of gallantry."

Sgt. First Class Leroy Petry was serving in Paktya, Afghanistan in May 2008 when his Ranger unit was assigned to capture a high value target in a helicopter raid.

"The mission is high risk. It's broad daylight," Obama said. "The insurgents are heavily armed, but it's considered a risk worth taking because intelligence indicates that a top al Qaeda commander is in that compound." FULL POST


Topics: Afghanistan • President Obama • The News
Your commander in chief has your back
President Barack Obama speaks to troops from the U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division in a dining hall at Fort Drum in New York Thursday. The president visited with troops and their families after announcing a partial troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
June 23rd, 2011
05:22 PM ET

Your commander in chief has your back

(CNN) – President Barack Obama said Thursday that theU.S. military withdrawal fromAfghanistan will not be done "precipitously."

It will be done in a steady way to ensure recent gains "will be sustained," he said.

"Areas likeKandahar are more secure than they've been in years," Obama said during a visit toFort Drum,New York.

TheU.S.military and its allies are "taking the fight" to the Taliban, he said. As a result, there are signs the Taliban are more interested in a political settlement.

As for al Qaeda, we have "decimated their ranks," he said. But "our job is not finished."

"Your commander in chief has your back," he said.


Topics: Afghanistan • President Obama • The News
Obama talks to troops
June 23rd, 2011
07:54 AM ET

Obama talks to troops

By CNN Wire Staff

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama goes on the road Thursday to sell his plan to withdraw 33,000 U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

He will meet with soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York - many of whom have recently returned from Afghan deployments.

France announced on Thursday that it would follow suit, saying it "will initiate a progressive withdrawal of troops in Afghanistan, and will follow a timetable comparable to the withdrawal of the American troops."

French President Nicolas Sarkozy's office said the withdrawal will be done in consultation with NATO allies and the Afghan government.

full story


Topics: Afghanistan • President Obama • The News
33,000 out by September 2012
June 22nd, 2011
05:43 PM ET

33,000 out by September 2012

From CNN White House Correspondent Brianna Keilar:

A senior administration official tells CNN that President Obama will announce tonight that he’s ordering the withdrawal of all 33,000 surge forces in Afghanistan by the September of 2012.


Topics: Afghanistan • The Buzz • White House
WH official: Edits 'still being made' to Afghanistan speech
June 22nd, 2011
11:46 AM ET

WH official: Edits 'still being made' to Afghanistan speech

Washington (CNN) –A senior administration official tells CNN that edits are “still being made” to the speech President Obama will deliver in primetime on troop levels in Afghanistan.

The official said the speech, that will take place in the East Room, is expected to last anywhere from “10 to 15 minutes….less than 15 minutes.”

The president will tell Americans that “he’s making good on a promise” that he made when he rolled out his Afghanistan strategy in December of 2009.

The official said that the president settled on his decision “based on successes we’ve enjoyed in Afghanistan over the last 18 months.”

Part of what he hopes to accomplish in the speech? “Clarifying what our goals are” in Afghanistan,” the official said.

Obama to Fort Drum
June 21st, 2011
04:30 PM ET

Obama to Fort Drum

President Obama will visit Fort Drum in upstate New York on Thursday, a day after addressing the nation about his plan to draw down troops in Afghanistan.

He will meet with Gold Star families as well as soldiers, many whom have recently returned from Afghanistan.

Fort Drum is home to the 10th Mountain Division which has had numerous deployments to Afghanistan.

This visit is closed to the press.


Topics: Afghanistan • White House
Obama has made final decision on rate of Afghanistan troop withdrawals
Troops, just back from Afghanistan, listen to President Obama speak at Ft. Campbell, KY on May 6.
June 21st, 2011
03:12 PM ET

Obama has made final decision on rate of Afghanistan troop withdrawals

By: CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) – President Obama has made a final decision on the rate of initial U.S. troop withdrawals from Afghanistan, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney confirmed Tuesday.

The president will keep his commitment to start a withdrawal in July, Carney said. Obama will lay out his plan for implementing this strategy in an address to the nation Wednesday evening at 8 p.m.

Carney claimed the United States has had "significant" success in meeting its military goals in Afghanistan.

"The process (under which the president's decision was made) was all about the mission that was laid out" by Obama in 2009, Carney said.


Topics: Afghanistan • Jay Carney • Uncategorized
Did you know....?
June 21st, 2011
12:48 PM ET

Did you know....?

The war in Afghanistan has lasted 104 months…the war in Vietnam lasted 103 months.

**This calculation uses Aug 7, 1964 the date Congress passed the Tonkin Gulf Resolution as the start date  and March 1973 as the end date for the Vietnam war.

American troops  attacked Afghanistan on Oct 7, 2001.