President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai sign a strategic partnership agreement at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, May 2, 2012. (Credit: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
President Obama addressed the nation from a U.S. air base in Afghanistan exactly one year after he announced the death of Osama bin Laden.
"We have traveled through more than a decade under the dark cloud of war," the President said. "Yet here, in the pre-dawn darkness of Afghanistan, we can see the light of a new day on the horizon."
The President spoke about the mission, which began just weeks after the September 11th attacks, and thanked the U.S. troops who sacrificed their safety, families and lives to see it through.
"Time and again, they have answered the call to serve in distant and dangerous places. In an age when so many institutions have come up short, these Americans stood tall."
President Obama arrived in darkness - the White House kept the trip a secret until he landed. He met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and signed an agreement, pledging U.S. support for Afghanistan for 10 years after combat troops leave in 2014.
Because this is an election year, the President's critics are sounding off on his trip. Some are accusing the president of making bin Laden's killing a campaign issue.
"I think politicizing it and trying to draw a distinction between himself and myself was an inappropriate use of the very important event that brought America together, which was the elimination of Osama bin Laden," said Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
President Obama said the U.S. has been in direct talks with the Taliban to forge a permanent peace in Afhganistan.
The President also said the U.S. was not looking to build permanent bases in Afghanistan.