Obama Defends His Foreign Policy

    U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the commencement ceremony at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, May 28, 2014. Obama's commencement address here is the first in a series of speeches that he and top advisers will use to explain U.S. foreign policy in the aftermath of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and lay out a broad vision for the rest of his presidency.


    Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    Speaking directly to those who have accused his administration of lacking direction on foreign policy, President Obama declared Thursday that those who “suggest that America is in decline, or has seen its global leadership slip away are either misreading history or engaged in partisan politics.” The president’s speech comes one day after announcing the last American soldier will leave Afghanistan by the end of 2016. The president also announced a $5 billion counterterrorism partnership for countries in the Middle East and Africa. “Today’s principal threat no longer comes from a centralized al Qaeda leadership. Instead, it comes from decentralized al Qaeda affiliates and extremists, many with agendas focused in the countries where they operate,” he said. Obama also addressed both those who believe the U.S. should step back from its role in the world and those who are clamoring for it to get involved everywhere, explaining “America must always lead on the world stage. But U.S. military action 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.” 

    Read it at The New York Times