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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

President Barack Obama’s Address to the Nation

Focus: An End of Combat Operations in Iraq

Along with the end to the war in Iraq is the old decor of the Oval Office.  President Obama in the Oval Office in 2009.
Calling an end to U.S. combat involvement in Iraq, President Obama remarked - from his newly decorated Oval Office - that, ending the war is in the interest of Americans.

“Ending this war is not only in Iraq’s interest – it is in our own. Adding that the U.S. has "paid a huge price to put the future of Iraq in the hands of its people."

New focus. New direction. New Oval Office 2010.
“Tonight, I am announcing that the American combat mission in Iraq has ended. Operation Iraqi Freedom is over, and the Iraqi people now have lead responsibility for the security of their country. This was my pledge to the American people as a candidate for this office. Last February, I announced a plan that would bring our combat brigades out of Iraq, while redoubling our efforts to strengthen Iraq’s Security Forces and support its government and people. That is what we have done. We have removed nearly 100,000 U.S. troops from Iraq. We have closed or transferred hundreds of bases to the Iraqis. And we have moved millions of pieces of equipment out of Iraq.”

President Obama made at least two phone calls to former president George W. Bush today.   It was not revealed what the two discussed.  The Bush administration launched the invasion of Iraq during the two year period following the 9-11 attacks of the World Trade Center in New York, and the Pentagon.

Since then over 4,400 Americans and countless Iraqis have given their lives.

Moving forward, President Obama further stated “Today, our most urgent task is to restore our economy, and put the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs back to work. To strengthen our middle class, we must give all our children the education they deserve, and all our workers the skills that they need to compete in a global economy. We must jump start industries that create jobs, and end our dependence on foreign oil. We must unleash the innovation that allows new products to roll off our assembly lines, and nurture the ideas that spring from our entrepreneurs. This will be difficult. But in the days to come, it must be our central mission as a people, and my central responsibility as President.”

As the end of one war comes to a close, the war in Afghanistan still prevails.  With threats that al Qaeda continues to plot against the U.S. the president has deployed additional troops into the Afghan region with the hope of  "disrupting, dismantling, and defeating al Qaeda."

The U.S. military plans to train Afghan Security Forces in what the White House an effort to "build their own capacity, and secure their own future", based on conditions in the region.

The president made no mention of, nor gave a time table for when U.S. involvement would seize in Afghanistan, but stated that "open-ended war serves neither our interests nor the Afghan people’s."

Watch the address below.

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