tv The Daily Rundown MSNBC May 2, 2012 9:00am-10:00am EDT
decade under the dark cloud of war yet here in the predawn darkness of afghanistan we can see the light of a new day on the horizon. >> president obama markathize anniversary of osama bin laden's death by signing a new strategic partnership with afghanistan. the u.s. role there will continue for years to come. overnight the taliban responds not two years after the president was wheels up, a car bomb. a clear sign of the challenges that still remain. plus the power of the presidential pulpit. republicans tone down their criticism over exploiting osama bin laden death with muted praise for the trip and the new deal. the politics of dramatic images like these. good morning from washington. this is "the daily rundown" i'm chuck todd. a ton of campaign stuff to get to. we are going to start with afghanistan and my first reads of the morning. here is what the president
didn't do. he didn't announce the end of the decades long war in afghanistan. what he joutd lined was the end of the war as we know it. he made the case for a long going commitment. the strategic partnership agreement signed with president karzai commits the united states to afghanistan economically and militarily for the next 20 years through 2024. the agreement also guarantees afghan sovereignty and it says that the united states will not launch military operations against another country from afghanistan. the united states will not strike iran from afghanistan but will be able to carry out counter terrorism operations. speaking to troops the president was blunt about what operations are still going to look like in
afghanistan over the next few years. >> some of your buddies are going to get injured. some of your buddies may get killed. and there's going to be heartbreak and pain and difficulty ahead. but there's a light on the horizon. >> 1,945 u.s. service members have been killed in the war in afghanistan. nearly 16,000 have been wounded. questions remain. we don't know how much money we'll be spending in afghanistan. that will be negotiated and appropriated annually over congress. we don't know what the u.s. military support presence will be. the president said that will be determined in some cases by conditions on the ground. there will be a negotiated agreement about what size of a force. in his address the president
addressed his critics of this plan that he is likely to receive on both sides. >> some people will ask why we need a firm timeline. the answer is clear. our goal is not to build a country in america's image or to eradicate every vestige of the taliban. our goal is to destroy al qaeda and we are on a path to do exactly that. >> and the president had a message for critics who say the u.s. has been in afghanistan long enough. >> others will ask why don't we leave immediately. that answer is also clear. we must give afghanistan the opportunity to stabilize. otherwise our gains could be lost and al qaeda could establish itself once more. >> less than two hours after the president left afghanistan air space explosions rocked the capital. i want to go live in kabul now.
what happened there, number one. second, what is the morning reaction, if you will, to this new agreement. around 6:30 this morning a western compound further away was targeted by the taliban. we heard two explosions. apparently a car bomb hit the front of the western compound leaving a gaping hole at the entrance leaving other attackers inside and killed the attackers but they were still able to kill six civilians. the taliban have claimed responsibility they say in response to the strategic partnership signed last night by president obama and president karzai. as for the reaction here in afghanistan what is interesting with the afghan people there have been questions going around if the u.s. was really committed to afghanistan, if there really would be a strategic partnership signed between the two countries. obviously many afghans particularly those here in the
capital who have an investment in afghanistan's future are relieved that there is a contract now binding the two countries. but for the majority of the afghans, those who live in 90% of the remote villages in afghanistan all they want is the violence to stop. they don't really care about a contract that binds the two countries in the future. they just want their families to stop dying and want the bombings and fighting to end. >> thank you. as you know this agreement isn't a binding contract yet. it is an agreement to then negotiate more agreements. when there were whispers that the president was going to afghanistan earlier yesterday. you started seeing protests asking if he was going to spike the football. once it was clear what he was up to the response from republicans ranged from muted to outrate praise. lindsey graham.
this is a day i have been looking forward to for over two years. the agreement sends a signal that we are not abandoning afghanistan. senator mccain. i am pleased that the president has travelled to afghanistan. i would urge the president to speak more directly with the people about the vital national security at stake. hawks on the right have criticized the president for not using his pulpit to sell the war announcing an on going commitment on the bin laden anniversary was the ultimate use in political capital. for the most part republicans praised the president. mitt romney had an interesting release. here is what he said. i am pleased that president obama has returned to afghanistan. our troops and the american people deserve to hear from our president about what is at stake in this war. didn't really say anything when it comes to afghanistan. romney has never been very clear
on what he would do different of the president. we are going to have a representative of the romney campaign on in a few minutes to help cut through that for us. the new agreement between the united states and afghanistan is short on a lot of specifics. but it does make one thing clear. the u.s. will have a role to play in that country. tony is a national security advisor to vice president biden at the white house. let me start with last night's speech by the president. what did he announce? did he announce the end of the war or did he announce a path to how the war is going to end and when is that going to end? >> i think thet president was very clear last night. we are ending the war in afghanistan responsibly. next year we will transition to afghan lead and by 2014 the afghans will be responsible for their country throughout the country and american forces will be coming out of afghanistan.
this is really a very important moment marking the end of the war but ending it responsibly in a way that allows afghanistan to move forward on its own two feet. >> there were a lot of caveats in the president's speech. you talked about as afghan security forces stand up the role of both american forces and nato forces in general stand down. what if some of these things don't happen. he talked about negotiating with the foot soldiers of the taliban for reconciliation. if these things don't happen does this agreement mean the united states could end up sending more troops back into afghanistan? >> no. this agreement is very clear. it is very similar to iraq before. as we bring our troops home we want to build a comprehensive partnership with afghanistan to help build its own capacity to deal with its own problems going forward.
we will have a relationship beyond 2014. and that's very important because remember what happened in 1989. the world abandoned afghanistan entirely. we know the result. civil war, the taliban, 9/11. we'll be building a partnership with the afghan people to help them deal with the problems they'll face beyond and to continue to help us with the interests that we have in the region particularly dealing with any problems of terrorism, making sure that al qaeda which is on its heels and the president has done so much to defeat doesn't come back. >> one of the things that didn't take place in iraq is that you couldn't negotiate an extension of the so-called s.o. fmpt a., a forces agreement that would be ea residual force in iraq. couldn't get the details done to
make that safe for u.s. soldiers, rules of engagement, etc. what makes you kuconvinced you' be able to do this with afghanistan. >> this calls for working with afghanistan and negotiating an on going agreement with them over the next year. if we decide together that we want to have some kind of residual force after 2014. we'll see where that goes over the coming months and over the next year. if there is anything after 2014 it will be much smaller and very narrowly focused on training the afghans and on counter terrorism. that is what we'll be doing if we do anything beyond 2014. that remains to be decided by the president and remains to be negotiated by the afghans. presumably if they decide that they would like to have some on going presence and we decide it's in our interest then we'll work on it and get it done.
>> is it fair to say that there could be u.s. forces in afghanistan even in some if in a supportive capacity in afghanistan until 2024? >> i think what is fair to say is that we are on a very clear path to end the war and to end it responsibly, to transition to afghan control over the next year and a half first giving the control throughout the country next year and then full responsibility in 2014. after 2014 we are going to have an enduring partnership with the afghan people and the afghan government. what the substance is and the details and the nature of any security relationship is remains to be seen. there is no commitment to have troops in afghanistan beyond 2014. that chapter remains to be written. >> part of the entire white house national security team thanks for coming on this morning. up next will the president's
plan win over war weary americans. democratic senator joins me. still to come someone else is getting a vp audition today. could there be a new woman a romney's short list. first a look ahead on the president's schedule. going to land a little earlier than thought. should land just afternoon. has a few meetings and campaign events tonight. you're watching "the daily rundown." i love cash back. with the bankamericard cash rewards credit card, we earn more cash back for the things we buy most. 1% cash back everywhere, every time. 2% on groceries. 3% on gas. automatically. no hoops to jump through. no annual fee. that's 1% back on... wow! 2% on my homemade lasagna. 3% back on [ friends ] road trip!!!!!!!!!!!! [ male announcer ] get 1-2-3 percent cash back. apply online or at a bank of america near you.
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an overwhelming majority of americans supported the cause. now the americans want them in. 72% oppose the war in a recent poll. journing me now is new jersey democrat senator bob menendez. good morning. >> good morning. >> what do you say to a war weary republic who heard the president say we still got a long road to go and there is going to be some form of a military commitment in that country for years to come? >> well, i think what you did hear the president say is we are transitioning out. we are bringing our surge troops home. the afghans will be in the lead next year and by 2014 we will have largely transitioned out. and the long-term commitment is still to be determined in terms of what it means.
but obviously we have an interest in continuing to attack al qaeda. the president has effectively knocked out a significant part of its leadership. 20 of the top 30 leaders have been killed. but that doesn't mean that they are out of the picture. they are still very much engaged. we have an interest in being able to position ourselves to use counter terrorism strikes in afghanistan. this is fundamentally different. it is a commitment by the president to do exactly what he said he would do, get us out in 2014 and move this from a counter insurgency to a counter terrorist effort. >> how tough of a sell is this going to be to terrorist? every year the amount of aid in general and certainly some of the security commitments will have to have been negotiated annually in congress. we know that is probably going to be a lot harder than folks
realize. is that a fair assessment? >> certainly it will be hotly debated as to what is the right level of assistance. what is our continuing engagement? i think it is very important for the president to lay out and we have seen republicans lay out that in fact for our enemies in the region for the taliban to know that there is still somewhat of a presence supporting the afghans who have over 300,000 troops between police and afghan army that, in fact, can continue to take the fight to them says to the afghans even though we are leaving in terms of the type of troops that we have had we are still going to support you so stand up and fight for your own country as well as against terrorism says to the pakistanis in the region we are not abandoning here so you better think about what is in your
interest in this regard. maybe you have been waiting to see whether we are going to totally abandon. we have interest in getting the pakistanis to be more engaged. i think those are all good reasons. those will be debated in the congress. getting out after we have been spending $120 billion a year is good news for the american people. >> when it comes to this issue one of the caveats has to do with stability in afghanistan and the karzai government. what is the line between if things aren't going well in kabul and with the karzai government, what is the line of saying we are out? versus they're not ready yet to stand up. we got to stick around longer. i know that's a little bit of a hypothetical. what is that line in your mind? >> we have to continue to engage the karzai government to move towards greater transparency,
honesty and democratic governance and institutions of democratic governance. that will help us as well as the afghan people. at the same time what is number one for the united states is what is in the national interest and security of the united states and the president will determine that as we move forward. if it means continuing to take the fight to al qaeda along that region so be it. if it believes this is not a government for which we can continue to engage that will be determined. but above all i think the president has made a real commitment that is both good for the american people, transition out, bring our sons and daughters home. stop spending $120 billion. send a message to the afghans to stand up for your own country but send the message that we are not totally leaving the region. >> democrat fraught new jersey and senior member of the foreign
relations committee. up next mitt romney reaction to the president's trip to afghanistan. former minnesota senator is here to explain governor romney's views on this. and a controversial spokesman resigns from the romney campaign after just two weeks on the job. first today's trivia question. when was the last time the republicans won the white house without a bush or nixon on the ticket? tweet me the answer. the fir the -- uncover stronger, younger looking skin.
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a firehouse that lost men on september 11th. >> we respect and admire the people who were part of that from the president who authorized that attack to the intelligence community that worked on it for so many years to identify where he was. i acknowledged that a year ago when this was announced that the president deserved credit for the decision he made. i continue to believe that and would have taken that action myself. >> joining me now is romney supporter and former republican senator norm coleman of minnesota. i noticed a change of tone from what the campaign was saying on sunday and monday and yesterday. fair? the tone changed a little bit? >> obama changed the tone. this is something we all should celebrate. something that brings americans together. obviously the president didn't respond that way. i think huffington quote
plitization of this thing despicable. questioned whether romney would have done that. bottom line is mitt romney would have taken out osama bin laden and also would fix the economy. i don't know about change of tone. this should be a moment that we all pull together and celebrate as americans. i think we kind of lost that . >> i feel like it has not been clear. what does he believe on this agreement? it was a very vague release that the campaign put out. it struck me as we have to put out a release and don't want to commit ourselves. >> i think when the agreement came out you didn't know much about it. it was tough for the challenger to be there. it is interesting. an advisor to governor romney applauded this agreement as i have and as others have.
it is a good thing. i think it should be followed by a trip to afghanistan by the president. the president is taking advice of the romney advisors in what he does. simply said getting out in 2014. you are not going to signal calls to the enemy. i think in terms of it is tough for the contender to take apart piece by piece. i don't think there is much disagreement that having this agreement is a good thing. the devil is still in the detail. the difference would be in signaling that we are telling the enemy what we are going to do. i think that can get more corruption in afghanistan. it is possible. folks figure a way of getting out. >> look at this agreement. on one hand you can say there is a timeline. on the other hand there is also a way to keep troops there if necessary. >> there is a way to keep troops
there. >> what is wrong with announcing a combat troop deadline if you are going to have -- which does some reassurance and forces the security team to say you have to step it up? >> i don't think there is much argument about this agreement. i think the argument was him announcing in 2000 we are getting out. you have an opportunity to reset operations. they weren't going after it because they thought we were getting out. so the agreement i think lays a foundation. we can actually celebrate a couple of things. maybe this was a moment. i thought it was a missed opportunity the day before when the president i think in an unfair way questioned what romney would do with the killing of bin laden. on this agreement right now let's see how it plays out. i'm watching the left. i watch "morning joe" there are
a lot of questions. >> you think it was more appropriate to use the bin laden anniversary to announce the agreement? >> i guess it was good that the president was in the field with the troops. >> very quickly there was a high profile resignation from the romney campaign. there has been a lot of reporting that he felt pressured to quit not necessarily by members of the romney team but by the reaction that was taking place in the social conservative community because he is openly gay? >> there is no substance to that. john urged him to say. his sexual orientation was known by the governor. they got their position. the governor hired the guy. he wanted him to be part of the team. social conservatism is going to do what it wants to do. he was very good at what he did. i think the campaign is
disappointed that he is not going to continue to do what he was hired to do. >> thanks for coming on. convention chaos. we are taking a deep dive into what has been a crazy time for democrats in the tar heel state. can a scandal in the party hurt the big party. a long good bye is finally ending. newt gingrich's last day on the trail apparently is day. he says it is. you are watching "the daily rundown" only on msnbc. ♪ to check your credit score before it gets too late ♪ ♪ and you end up strapped for cash ♪ ♪ patching your board with duct tape ♪ ♪ so hit free-credit-score-dot-com ♪ ♪ find out what credit's about ♪ ♪ or else you could be headed for a credit wipeout ♪ offer applies with enrollment in freecreditscore.com™.
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just stay off the freeways, all right? i don't want you going out on those yet. mmm-hmm. and just leave your phone in your purse. i don't want you texting, all right? daddy...ok! ok, here you go. be careful. thanks dad. call me -- but not while you're driving. ♪ [ dad ] we knew this day was coming. that's why we bought a subaru. ♪ president obama will officially claim the nomination in charlotte this september. it may be one of the very few bright spots for democrats in north carolina. today we are taking a deep dive into the tar heel state. >> i love north carolina. i do. every time i come down to this
state i just love it that much more. >> president obama had good reason to love north carolina in 2008 when he picked up a narrow victory. for the democrats it has been all down hill since then. take beverly purdue also elected in 2008. she became so unpopular she decided not to run for reelection. in the midst of her first term republicans gained the majority for the first time in 140 years. while the gop has gained strength democrats are facing an embarrassing scandal. two weeks ago the state party executive director quit among allegations he sexually harassed a former staffer. even governor purdue has called on him to resign. the guy was holding himself in a hotel for a while. democrats are also facing
political problems. its jobless rate of 9.7% is higher than every state except for nevada, rhode island and california. put the politics and economy together to see why it will be a little tougher for the president. winning north carolina seemed unlikely last time around, as well. the state had become in the red column ever since the days of jimmy carter. the president's victory in 2008 was by the slimmest of margins. president bush's margin of victory in 2004 was by more than 434,000 about 30 times larger than obama. north carolina is considered a swing state in 2012 as it was in 2008. the political landscape seems more daunting for democrats this time around. joining me now is the man whose
column inspired. let's first talk about statistically why north carolina is a swing state. it is getting younger. it is getting less white. it is more of a huge boom in hispanics have gone into the state. it really is unlike the rest of the south. >> and the president won it. admittedly it was very narrowly. >> and his popularity has held on there. >> and there are recent polls showing him up by four points. there are some reasons to focus on north carolina rather than south carolina, mississippi and alabama. >> the problems and what does all of this mean? obama won north carolina because they had an incredible ground game. if you have a state party in this turmoil what do you do? >> after my column appeared i had an e-mail from a republican operative who said the romney folks and north carolina republicans were opening a
campaign office in meclnburg county. so the republicans are trying to organize earlier. i think they understand that the state can be competitive. if they work hard and do the right things romney ought to win north carolina. >> i remember when charlotte was named and this was a very important thing. he believed that the denver convention helped organize the state of colorado. does it mean that much on the convention itself but you get an influx of volunteers. so the same theory is what he was hoping would hold true in charlotte except they are holding it at -- where is the president speaking? >> bank of america field or stadium. we didn't see anything from occupy wall street until just the other day and suddenly they seem to be back and you think that would be a magnet for protests for democrats who are unhappy with the administration. it looked like a terrific pick
initially. you understood it. this is going to activate the democrats in the state. now with all of these developments jow to wonder. maybe it is just about hotel rooms and the facility and the weather. we like to impude political motives. if this was part of a bigger plan to carry the state you have to wonder maybe it is not going to work. >> this is still thought of as a republican leaning state that the president overperformed in. at the same time unlike indiana they want to try to keep it in play. they are trying to keep the map larger. >> the republicans -- i'm looking for the place they are trying to expand the map and that is still a problem on their end. >> i think you are right. if you look at the swing states whether eight or ten or 11 there are more combinations for obama to get to 270 lecerral votes than romney. we will see republicans try to put pennsylvania and michigan in play but the map is harder for
the republicans. i don't think it is dramatically harder. i know we have had this discussion. i have seen it a lot. my guess is the lectort is going to move one way or the other in the final weeks of the campaign and somebody is going to win most of these swing states. the person who wins florida will probably win ohio and probably colorado and possibly iowa and virginia. i'm not sure there is going to be as much cherry picking as we think. but the democrats want to put this in play. >> how much of the north carolina pick is also about virginia? >> i think some of it. it's a regional play. we hear at least the democrats are trying to link the two and they are going to have an event i guess on monday or tuesday to try to talk about the south and the democratic appeal. so virginia is a key state. i actually think virginia, colorado and wisconsin is where the election is going to be won or lost. >> wisconsin is one of the
people. ask me again after the recall. >> exactly. >> very provocative column. a programming note you can catch a special "rock center with brian williams inside the situation room" on your local nbc station. don't forget. white house soup of the day. there you go. i'm not going to tell you what it was yesterday. today it's vegetable and barley. let's see what you got. rv -- covered. why would you pay for a hotel? i never do.
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tigers. his record of 2,130 games stood for more than 30 years. it was a quick shift, questions on the politicizing of the mission to kill bin laden made way for the u.s. involvement in afghanistan for the next dozen years. former obama white house spokesman cofounder of the obama superpac. and the washington post ann. let me start with you, ann. did the president end the war yesterday or did he end the war as we know it but, by the way, we are not leaving for a little while. >>ish. >>ish. >> i think it depends on who was listening and what they took away from it. there were multiple interpretations of what he said. the troops will be coming home 2014. there is a longer term commitment there.
i think that is one of the reasons you saw mitt romney having a tough time trying to criticize him on it because he is saying both. i think both are true. it seems like a smart day politicly for him to do it. >> bill, i was thinking yesterday the more i was thinking about the use of the bin laden anniversary it sounds like the white house decided this is not going to be that popular letting people know that this is ending but we're going to have commitment to afghanistan for long term. why not use the most popular day, if you will, anniversary day that you could pick to try to sell what is a little bit of vegetables? >> in terms of stage craft, maybe. i think what ann is saying is exactly right. there is not really a coherent critique for what the president did. it is just one part of what the president laid out on what he was going to do and laying out where he would stand which is halt the momentum of the taliban, deny al qaeda a safe
haven and stand up the afghan security forces. we have done the first two things and now the forces are ahead of schedule. we are in a pretty good spot that even republicans are having a tough time criticizing. >> it seems like the romney campaign made the decision we are not going to talk afghanistan. just hurry up and get to friday because we think that jobs report is not going to be that great. >> absolutely. as with many things, mitt romney we can't tell where he stands on this and we can't criticize the president on national security or foreign policy. many people in the republican party have tried to do that. yesterday was a perfect instance of the president showing the world he is the commander in chief of this nation. all he could do is pivot and go back to domestic policy. >> you saw what happened when they tried to talk about the
obama campaign's video about the bin laden killing. and they got sucked into a couple of days of debate over whether romney would have done the same thing. >> it wasn't clear. the hypothetical answers he had he said i would have made the same call. that could be the case. >> who knows? >> there was enough out there that you are like wait a minute. >> to suggest that he wouldn't have made the same call. it isn't a profile in courage to say you make the same call over the pepperoni and pizza as you are in the situation room. you should take him at his word that he wouldn't have done what the president did. >> let's talk about the economy where there is a fear of flat line. the adp number was disappointing. below expectations. this is the decider when it comes to this election. >> part of me feels like the economy is going to be the
decider but i keep going back and looking at demographics and i think it will be close. the republican party whether it is mitt romney himself or people at the state level are givering the democrats more and more to call after republican want to bees on issues of demographics. yesterday debbie shults said i would like mitt romney to tell us where he stands on the paycheck fairness check. more on the war on women and where mitt romney stands on the issues. i don't know how much the economy is going to hurt mitt romney going forward. >> i want to talk a bit about campaign strategy. we'll see if you guys are going to match him. trivia we ask when was the last time the republican won the white house without a bush or a nixon on the ticket? the answer is 1928.
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my goal in life is to get things done, and it's not about sizzle for me. >> so 2012 is the anti-sizzle election. >> i don't think that romney has no sizzle. don't get me wrong. >> let's bring back our panel. bill burton, michelle bernard and ann cornbluth. all right, ann, the vp audition trials, bob mcdonnell this week, kelly ayat earlier, a little bit of rubio the week before, bob portman, the no-sizzle guy. he wants this more -- i don't think people realize this. he kind of wants this more than people realize, doesn't he. >> i think there are a few people who do. i think you're starting to see it from the ones who admit
they're open to it. no, no, i'm too focused on my current job. he certainly isn't. this is a win-win for the romney campaign. rubio one day, someone else the next. they get to take from each the best message they can and show they're considering a his pan fricke florida, a woman from new hampshire, whoever it may be, whether they're on the list or not. >> another way to say you're interested is to say you're interested. mcmorris-rogers. she's interested. she's open to the vp idea. but i'm not seeking it. >> but she's not seeking it. but interestingly enough, she was on "meet the press" sunday speaking about, quote, unquote, women's issues and not talking about them in the way we normally see people speaking about them. she made a great pivot, went to women in the economy, women in policy, women in -- >> what romney needs. >> they need it pretty badly. i know her. she's not high on the sizzle
factor, but it will be interesting to see who does. >> i have predictions on this process. >> okay. mr. expert. on the republican process. >> one, that mitt romney will pick someone before the convention because he needs another gun going around with him out in the country. >> you mean before the olympics. before the end of july. >> that's right. and the second is that this process will go something like we saw what happened with richard grunel, which is the most extreme right of the party will have a huge say in who they pick. >> not going to learn a lot about that process. i think myers is going to keep a tight lid on this thing. i want to bring up the map. the super pac. want to show you where they've bought time reasoned where they haven't. colorado, michigan, virginia, michigan, all predictable states except michigan. that's their expand the map state. ann kornblut.
>> and one, no pennsylvania, no wiscons wisconsin. >> wisconsin is a little crowded on the airwaves. might step back and let it play out. >> pennsylvania obvious lly another one. not a terribly big expansion. >> we'll see. starts in michigan, i hear the romney family is insisting that michigan stay in the battleground. >> and i don't get it given everything that happened in detroit and former statements he's made. doesn't make sense. >> are you matching these guys dollar for dollar? >> i'm happy for them to spend as much as they do. >> dollar for dollar? >> not every single dollar. >> shameless plugs. >> the arizona senate race, a great story in "the washington post" today on that. >> we'll see if it's real. >> terrific op-ed in politico today by jean karpinski about who -- >> new partner. super pac partner. >> big oil, high gas prices. >> shoutout to my brother, dezi berna bernard, ran his first road race ever on sunday and had a
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good morning. i'm chris jansing. this morning, there is an agreement to end america's longest war. under cover of night, the commander in chief carried out another secret mission, swooping in for a surprise visit to afghanistan and signing a pact with president hamid karzai, seizing the upper hand in a political battle over the one-year anniversary of osama bin laden's death. >> my fellow americans, we've traveled through more than a decade under the dark cloud of war. yet here in the predawn darkness of afghanistan, we can see the light of a new day on the horizon. >> under the