March 27, 2009
"As President, my greatest responsibility is to protect the American people. We are not in Afghanistan to control that country or to dictate its future. We are in Afghanistan to confront a common enemy that threatens the United States, our friends and allies, and the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan who have suffered the most at the hands of violent extremists."
President Obama, outlining his new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan
While Iraq may have been President George W. Bush's war, Obama makes the policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan his own. But in stark contrast to the perception of Bush and Iraq, Obama emphasizes that he doesn't want to stay in Afghanistan in order to dictate the way of life and says his motive is first and foremost the safety of Americans.
Speaking from the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Obama forcefully yet carefully lays out his agenda, saying he'll send 4,000 more troops to train Afghan security forces and wants an extra $1.5 billion per year in direct support to Pakistan. He warns, "For the American people, this border region has become the most dangerous place in the world." During his remarks he also makes it clear who the enemy is, telling al-Qaeda and other terrorists, "We will defeat you."
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