President Obama: Afghanistan 'is not just America's war'

obama_westpoint_290.jpgPresident Barack Obama addressed the students and soldiers at West Point Tuesday night in a televised speech to discuss the war in Afghanistan.

First, however, the President reiterated his plan to pull out of Iraq -- removing combat brigades by the end of summer 2010 and all troops by the end of 2011 -- as a "testament to the character of the men and women in uniform."

Overall, Obama was fairly direct about his message: theefforts in Afghanistan would continue though because the "status quo is not sustainable" there against the Taliban, which "has gained momentum."

Here's a quick rundown of his main points:

  • "This is not just America's war." -- The President stated that our allies, a coalition of 43 nations, were also invested in the efforts in Afghanistan.
  • Over the first part of 2010, 30,000 troops will deploy, but Obama hopes to start withdrawing troops after 18 months, around July 2011.
  • That the objectives in Afghanistan would be met in three ways:
  1. Through military efforts, including teaching Afghanistan the tools to use for the future
  2. Through a surge in civilian strategies
  3. Through an effective partnership with Pakistan
  • A reminder to war-weary Americans that Afghanistan was the one who attacked our shores first with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks
  • Denial that Afghanistan is another Vietnam -- mainly because of the 9/11 attacks, but also because of the strength of our allies backing the efforts.

Check out the video below for part of Obama's speech:




He finished with these rousing words:

"Our cause is just, our resolve unwavering. We will go forward with the confidence that right makes might and with the commitment to forge an America that is safer, a world that is more secure and a future that represents not the deepest of fears but the highest of hopes. Thank you, and God bless the United States of America."

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