President Obama risks having his own “mission accomplished” moment in Afghanistan nine years to the day President George W. Bush declared the end of major combat operations in Iraq.

Obama’s surprise trip to the war zone was timed for the one-year anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death, not Bush’s May 1, 2003 landing on the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier. And Obama spoke to the nation against a modest backdrop of military trucks, a break with the dramatic setting for Bush’s speech.

Yet, like Bush’s speech in front of a “mission accomplished” banner, Obama’s intention was to put an election-year exclamation point on his decision last year to send Navy Seals into Pakistan to kill bin Laden. Obama also sought to remind voters of his 2008 promise to target the terrorist leader by focusing on what he said was a war Bush had forgotten.

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