Pence makes surprise trip to Afghanistan

Trip planned in secret for safety reasons

Pence: Trump armed forces' best friend

BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan (CNN) - Vice President Mike Pence secretly touched down in Afghanistan on Thursday night to meet with top Afghan officials and rally US troops for his first trip to the country as vice president.

The trip, planned in secret for safety reasons, made Pence the highest-ranking Trump administration official to visit an active US combat zone and came four months after President Donald Trump committed several thousand more US troops to the 16-year war effort. During his visit, Pence touted the new US strategy and stressed the US's to achieving victory here.

"I believe victory is closer than ever before," Pence told troops here late Thursday night.

Reporters traveling with Pence agreed to keep the trip secret until an hour before Pence was scheduled to fly back to the US.

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