All Weekend, Every Weekend. On C-SPAN3.

President Obama Addresses the Nation from Afghanistan

Washington, DC
Tuesday, May 1, 2012

President Obama addressed the American people from Bagram Air Base, outside the Afghan capital, Kabul, where he landed Tuesday on an unannounced visit.

"My fellow Americans, we have traveled through more than a decade under the dark cloud of war. Yet here, in the pre-dawn darkness of Afghanistan, we can see the light of a new day on the horizon. The Iraq War is over," President Obama said.

"The number of our troops in harm’s way has been cut in half, and more will be coming home soon. We have a clear path to fulfill our mission in Afghanistan, while delivering justice to al Qaeda."

Tuesday marked the anniversary of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden and the President commented on the raid in his speech, saying that "over the last three years...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 President landed at Bagram after nightfall on Tuesday and then took a helicopter to Kabul, where he met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the two leaders signed a strategic partnership agreement.

The agreement pledges continued U.S. support for Afghanistan for a decade after the scheduled combat troop withdrawal in 2014 and includes mutual commitments in the areas of "protecting and promoting shared democratic values, advancing long-term security, reinforcing regional security and cooperation, social and economic development and strengthening Afghan institutions and governance," according to the White House.

The agreement does not commit the U.S. to specific troop levels or levels of funding, the White House said.

The timing of the trip was driven by the Presidents' desire to sign the agreement prior to the NATO Summit in Chicago later this month, according to Senior administration officials.

Prior to his address, the President spoke to troops stationed at Bagram.

“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,” President Obama said, speaking on the transition to Afghan responsibility for Afghan security.

In a statement, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called the agreement "a tangible sign of the strength and the resilience of the partnership that has been built between the United States and the Afghan people, and the significant progress that has been made by American, international and Afghan forces in building an Afghanistan that can secure and govern itself."

Updated: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 10:38am (ET)

Related Events

Role of Intelligence in Camp David Accords
Sunday, March 2, 2014     

This program features a discussion about the role of  intelligence in the 1978 Camp David Accords. The event marked the CIA’s declassification of more than 250 documents produced from January 1977 to March 1979 in support of President Jimmy Carter’s diplomatic efforts. Mr. Carter hosted the summit between Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin at Camp David in September 1978. The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library in Atlanta, Georgia hosted this event.

American Artifacts: USS Torsk, Part II
Sunday, October 13, 2013     

We return to Baltimore's Inner Harbor for the second part of our tour of the USS Torsk submarine. Commissioned in December of 1944, the USS Torsk served in the Pacific Theater during World War II. In August of 1945 she sank two Japanese coastal defense frigates, the last enemy warships torpedoed in World War II. Nat Little, an education crew chief with Historic Ships in Baltimore, serves as our guide.

American Artifacts: USS Torsk, Part I
Sunday, October 6, 2013     

We visit the USS Torsk submarine in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Commissioned in December of 1944, the USS Torsk served in the Pacific Theater during World War II. In August of 1945 she sank two Japanese coastal defense frigates, the last enemy warships torpedoed in World War II. Nat Little, an education crew chief with Historic Ships in Baltimore, serves as our guide. This is the first of a two-part program.

Origins of the Iraq War
Saturday, August 17, 2013     

A discussion about the roots of the 2003 Iraq War. Participants investigate the justifications for the invasion by examining declassified and captured documents. This program was hosted by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.

History of U.S. Foreign Policy
Saturday, August 3, 2013     

Scholars examine the history of U.S. foreign policy and the United States’ status among the international diplomatic community. They discuss how and why that status has changed over time, and consider the necessary factors for preserving the present position of power for the future. This program was part of a conference hosted by Oregon State University on American Military and Diplomatic History.

U.S. Commander Gives Update on Afghanistan Operations
Wednesday, March 13, 2013     

Army Major General Robert B. Abrams spoke to reporters via video conferencing from Kabul, Afghanistan.

Defense Dept. Spokesman Briefs Press
Tuesday, March 12, 2013     

Pentagon Spokesman George Little discussed a number of topics with the press during Tuesday's briefing. They include Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s recent trip to Afghanistan, North Korea’s threats to the U.S. & South Korea, sequestration and reviews concerning sexual assaults in the military and the Distinguished Warfare Medal. 

State Department Press Briefing
Tuesday, March 12, 2013     

State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland briefs the press.

State Department Press Briefing
Monday, March 11, 2013     

State Department Spokesman, Victoria Nuland conducts a daily briefing at the State Department.

Cato Institute Hosts a Discussion on European Economy
Monday, March 11, 2013     

Former Czech President Václav Klaus addressed the Cato Institute on the structural problems in the European system, and how they contribute to the economic crisis that is continuing to affect that continent.

Share This Event Via Social Media

Photo Gallery

C-SPAN's Video Library
Questions? Comments? Email us at AmericanHistoryTV@c-span.org