By Sam Youngman - 10/29/09 04:22 AM EDT
President Barack Obama made a surprise trip to Dover Air Force Base
late Wednesday night as the bodies of 18 Americans killed in
The president, who is still undecided on a strategy for the way forward in the region, left the White House by Marine One near midnight to meet the 18 bodies of soldiers and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agents killed Monday.
The deaths of those Obama was meeting Wednesday night contributed to the deadliest month for Americans in Afghanistan since the war began eight years ago.
Republicans, including 2008 Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), have intensely criticized Obama for not making his decision faster.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, who joined the president on his trip, said this week that Obama is nearing the end of his decision-making process.
Reporters were not told of the president's trip until late Wednesday night.