Friday, March 8, 2013

U.S. Secretary Of Defense Hagel In Afghanistan

President Obama And Chuck Hagel. Reuters

Hagel Makes First Afghan Trip As Defense Chief -- Reuters

(Reuters) - Chuck Hagel arrived in Afghanistan on Friday for his first trip abroad as defense secretary, seeking to make his own assessment about America's longest war as it enters its final stretch.

Hagel said he would meet commanders and hold talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, whose recent orders to curtail military activity underscore an often tense relationship with the 66,000 American forces there.

"I need to better understand what's going on," Hagel told reporters as he flew to Kabul on the unannounced visit, adding his goal was to "make my own assessment and listen to our commanders".

Hagel said it was his first trip to Afghanistan since a mid-2008 visit with then-Senator Barack Obama during Obama's campaign for the presidency. Obama, a Democrat, forged a close bond with Hagel, a Republican, and remarked later that summer that the two agreed on almost "every item" of foreign policy.

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More News On U.S. Secretary Of Defense Hagel In Afghanistan

In first trip as defense secretary, Hagel lands in Afghanistan -- CNN
Hagel makes 1st trip to Afghanistan as Pentagon chief -- USA Today/AP
Defense Secretary Hagel visits Afghanistan -- Washington Post
Hagel Makes Surprise Visit to Afghanistan -- Wall Street Journal
New Defense Chief Visits ‘Reality of Combat’ in Afghanistan -- New York Times
Hagel in Afghanistan to Ready ‘Responsible Transition’ -- Bloomberg Businessweek
Hagel arrives in Afghanistan for first visit as defense chief -- L.A. Times
In first trip as defense secretary, Hagel lands in Afghanistan -- CNN
US Defense Secretary Hagel in Kabul on surprise visit -- France24/AFP
Hagel lands in Kabul, gets firsthand look at war he is tasked to end -- Stars and Stripes

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