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President Obama gives speech on foreign policy at West Point

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama

President Obama gives speech on foreign policy at West Point

By Roger Caldwell

As Republicans and conservatives attack the President’s speech, and call him weak and confused, the President continues to bring the soldiers home. Many experts have labeled the President’s foreign policy, “the Obama Doctrine,” but Americans are tired of war. For the last 13 years, America has spent billions of dollars in war, and no one knows who the enemy is.

“US military actions cannot be the only, or even primary, component of our leadership in every instance. Just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail,” says President Obama.

All around the world there is war, and it makes no sense for Americans to think that we have the capacity to police the different battles, which don’t affect or impact us. A good example is Iraq, which was started with faulty information, and ended up as a bloody sectarian civil war that found us in the middle. There were thousands of Americans killed and wounded, and we were able to walk away from that mess after 10 years thanks to the Obama Doctrine.

There is also the Afghanistan war that began in 2001, and the President of that country was corrupt and never wanted America in the country to start with. The troops, who we are training, are also having Afghans turn their weapons on Americans and killing us. The American military would like our citizens to believe that they know who al-Qaida is and who the Taliban are, but their guess is as good as mine.

The President’s foreign policy is based on a measured and pragmatic approach, and he takes the time to weigh the cost and consequences of the war. “I believe that a world of greater freedom and tolerance is not only a moral imperative; it also helps keep us safe. Since World War II, some of our most costly mistakes came not from our restraint, but from our willingness to rush into military adventures without thinking through the consequences,” says the President.

If we accept that there is an Obama Doctrine, one of its first principles is that the president builds international support for a campaign against an enemy. President Obama believes that we should lead on the world stage, but operate with credible and factual information. America should not go into a conflict alone, but should act collectively with the support of our allies.

“And because the cost associated with military action is so high, you should expect every civilian leader—and especially your commander in chief—to be clear about how that awesome power should be used. So let me spend the rest of my time describing my vision for how the United States of America, and our military, should lead in the years to come, for you will be part of that leadership,” explains the President to the graduating cadets.

As the President gave an inspiring speech to the graduating class at West Point, he made it clear that the world is complex and filled with danger. There is no one size or one strategy that solves international and global conflicts, but their training has taught them to lead.

“Now, ultimately, we have to be prepared for the worst, prepared for every contingency, but American leadership also requires us to see the world as it should be—a place where the aspirations of individuals human beings really matters, where hopes and not just fears govern; where the truths written into our founding documents can steer the currents of history in the direction of justice. And we cannot do that without you,” and maybe the President was speaking to all Americans at West Point.

After giving his speech at West Point, President Obama showed restraint, courage, and hope for a stronger America. Leadership requires resolve and a vision for the future, and the President hit the nail on its head with his speech at West Point.


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