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Military Spending

Issue Position |

President Obama announced plans in January for a leaner military that would focus more on intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and counterterrorism, while shrinking the U.S. presence in Europe and shifting more assets to the Asian Pacific.

Obama said that his 2013 budget would reduce the growth in defense spending over the next 10 years while still raising the amount. But inflation-adjusted numbers show a dip of up to 2 percent before expenditures begin rebounding to 1 percent above the current level by 2022.

The president and Congress reached a debt deal last summer that called for $600 billion in automatic defense cuts and an equal reduction in domestic programs if political leaders cannot come up with a plan to trim the deficit by $1.2 trillion this year.

The Obama campaign released an ad early in August criticizing GOP challenger Mitt Romney for his plans to increase military spending.

Endorse

Obama on Military Spending
233 Comments

Reader Endorsements

Pam Miner

Pam Miner He has kept us out of any new wars and helped end one. He now has experience and most other countries trust him more than anyone we have had in the past.

Christopher Michael

Christopher Michael He can do basic math.

Virginia Whidbee

Virginia Whidbee Obama 's adminstration has mentioned how they have training programs in other countries to defend their own countries so that spending for defense could be utilized for reducing the deficit here in the United States.

Gabriel Brown

Gabriel Brown "This is not battleship." O's got the right idea on the future of this military: quick, nimble, lean, and with the greatest technological advantage in the world. Ps, we still spend as much on our military as the rest of ...See More

Matt Ward

Matt Ward Money on the war machine . . . won't make this a better country.

Peg Warren

Peg Warren If we are going to send our citizens into harms way, our FIRST obligation is to take care of these men and women and their families while IN service and AFTER!!! The tactics of war can change with technical development. ...See More

Kitty Jawitz

Kitty Jawitz Love Obama 2012!

Kate Anderson

Kate Anderson 2 Trillion dollars more for Cheney profitable war industry? No thank you

Jamie Deveaux

Jamie Deveaux Military spending needs to be cut. Obama will make our military leaner as we move from horses and bayonets to stealth ships, and planes and of course Drones.

Michael Minjack

Michael Minjack How many ATOM bombs do we need?? If yur so worried, start the draft again and we'll see if Romney wants to invade Iran, w/his 5 sons A Vietnam vet!!

David Fernandez

David Fernandez obama is a wise and clear-eyed commander in chief and he has a very good grasp of the budget numbers, and of the over all context of war and peace. romney would only be suckered into war, and would only ...See More

Rupert Schmitt

Rupert Schmitt He uses advice of others instead of playing blind man's buff.

Tim Brown

Tim Brown The world has changed and our mission has changed. We already spend more on the military than all our potential adversaries combined. Enough is Enough. Strength not excess. Walk softly but carry big powerful Drone works for me. We should ...See More

Twyla Dorzweiler

Twyla Dorzweiler The bulk of military spending under Bush went for extreme increases for officer's salaries, and contractor abuses. 2.4 trillion dollars was never accounted for under Bush's military spending, so I am not in favor of going back there and doing ...See More

C Fred Crawmer

C Fred Crawmer he knows what the military/industrial really is whereas Mitt's likely closely linked to it.

Sela Krenkel

Sela Krenkel President Obama reasons solidly and has a record of measured approaches to both dealing with the issues of spending cuts and protecting the US against any foreign adversaries.

Yash Sodhi

Yash Sodhi We have been blessed to have Mr. Obama as President through some of the toughest times the country has faced militarily and economically. His steady no nonsense approach, regardless of political repercussions, to difficult problems facing our great nation, is ...See More

Carmin Liz

Carmin Liz The military has not asked for all that money, he is taking care of veterans too.

Laurel C B Stranaghan

Laurel C B Stranaghan The Obama administration has an excellent working relationship w/ our military including on the battlefield and the budget office. A fiscally responsible budget will be maintained without compromising troop safety or national readiness.

Ruben Singleton

Ruben Singleton President Barack didn't vote for the last two (2) wars, military spending. I am pleased that he do give the veterans of the wars the attention/healthcare etc., utmost consideration, unlike the Vietnam veterans. I am a Vietnam service veteran, and ...See More

Carrie Mendoza

Carrie Mendoza Obama understands the military plight better than Romney. He knows that this is the era of modern warfare. Romney still clings to the old military system- being so ignorant of what the new military can do now. We do not ...See More

Delores Wallace

Delores Wallace He is the better man for the joj.

Felipe De Leon Brown

Felipe De Leon Brown A lean, mean fighten' machine is the future of a strong and capable military. The U.S. is not the World's police force and we should only fight to protect the safety and security of our nation and not for some ...See More

Kitty Jawitz

Kitty Jawitz Obama always he is a great man and a humanist. Obama 2012!

Eugene Barufkin

Eugene Barufkin Spending must be cut. And we need to STOP policing the whole world. - Barack knows this. <>

Linda Carol Wickham-Young

Linda Carol Wickham-Young I think that $500 billion cut is necessary, and we have a Navy fleet that is projected to increase to 300 war ready ships by 2019. You need to look at who is Romney's naval advisor John Lehman the largest ...See More

Jessica Lynn Collins

Jessica Lynn Collins He is more about keeping an eye out for danger and taking action when necessary rather than just talking to leaders and only that.

Jessica Lynn Collins

Jessica Lynn Collins He is more about keeping an eye out for danger and taking action when necessary rather than just talking to leaders and only that.

ANdy Chou

ANdy Chou He believes in the future of America.

Robert Miller

Robert Miller Obama wants to keep Military spending constant while I believe it should be cut by 30%. Romney wants to increase it 30%. Insane!!

Zoraida Rivera

Zoraida Rivera I have also done the math and my answere is this. If you want WWIII to start, vote for Romney, If you want our economy to sink, vote for Romney, If your prejudist and harbor hate in your heart for ...See More

BeenThere DoneThat

BeenThere DoneThat I am a veteran and I know that the military doesn't need another trillion dollars. What the military need is to stop over paying for equipment just becasue someone paint it a camoflouge color

Ann Holmes

Ann Holmes He's doing a good job.

Parmjit Kaur

Parmjit Kaur We are already spending a lot. Miltary is not asking ab out money.

Lea Lyra Gary

Lea Lyra Gary I think it's reasonable to cut back on military spending.

Mike Munoz

Mike Munoz there is no need to expand/spend more on military, the US is not a world police, let their people solve their own problem. the growing federal deficit can be partially blame on military spending, the u.s.can use the money to ...See More

Cheryl Dyson

Cheryl Dyson Romney is a War Monger....power is his drug.

Susan Bounds

Susan Bounds Trust me, no one needs to provide more funding than requested by any Federal agency, much less DOD.

James Logan

James Logan My governor, Rick Scott FL ran on reducing all government spending because it does not create jobs and turned down 2.5 billion of federal money to built a rail system but then turned around and said that if the military ...See More

Edward Murray

Edward Murray Because bayonet and horses are not drones and smart bombs. Because Mr. Romney advocates for more spending than even the joint chiefs have asked for? Or is Halliburton already low on funds?

Edward Murray

Edward Murray Because horses and bayonets are not Drones and smart bombs. Because Mr. Romney advocates a larger military than even the military is requesting. Why, is Halliburton already low on funds?

Pamela Hoyles

Pamela Hoyles I believe Obama believes in smarter government, not more or less. I disagree with the notion that more money will solve the problem with out a viable plan.

Pamela Hoyles

Pamela Hoyles I believe Obama believes in smarter government, not more or less. I disagree with the notion that more money will solve the problem with out a viable plan.

Richard Ogilby

Richard Ogilby Mitt Romney endorses him

James A George

James A George Since Foreign Policy drives 43% of the Defense budget, and since we must operate with the highest return on cost, shifting cost from areas of allied strength and stability to areas needing more investment is a good decision. Leveraging military ...See More

E. Ann Powell

E. Ann Powell We have these things called airplanes that land on aircraft carriers.

Patty Henry

Patty Henry President Obama has a depth of understanding of world Issues......even Romney agrees with him on almost every issue....Romney wants to increase military spending....I believe most of the money will go to private contractors not to helping our troops.

Judy Hughes

Judy Hughes I endorse this because the joint chiefs of staff endorse it. In fact they designed it.

Brenda Clements

Brenda Clements Reducing military spending and presence in Europe is necessary in order to focus on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The use of which have provided a safer America during the President's first term. Adding to military spending by increasing troops can ...See More

Jeffery Aundre Sharp

Jeffery Aundre Sharp He will reduce it

Catherine Ratliff

Catherine Ratliff US military spending is higher than all other countries combined. And Romney wants to spend more.

Christopher Nolan Strosser

Christopher Nolan Strosser President Obama has shown his dedicated to maintaining a strong military, while considering our deficit. The Joint Chiefs have publicly backed President Obama's plan on military spending. On the other hand, Mr. Romney has suggested $2 trillion in additional military ...See More

Sam Addy

Sam Addy Smarts. ITs that simple, smarts!!!

Rozane McCurdy

Rozane McCurdy Obama has stated consistently, unlike his opponent, the need to reign in military spending. The POTUS's budget was based upon recommendations of his military advisers and the Pentagon. His opponents' budget included millions of dollars above what was requested by ...See More

Anita Nallathamby

Anita Nallathamby President Obama has an experienced reasoned approach, where Romney's approach seems to be more about bluster and spending money we don't have on equipment we don't need.

Rosie Reyes

Rosie Reyes I agree with the President we need to infiltrate and find out about attacks before they happen. We need to be proactive rather then reactive.

Robert D. Reynolds

Robert D. Reynolds Why does Romney want so much more in military spending??? Is he wanting to start another WAR!!!!!!!!!!

Scott Mills

Scott Mills Obama has experience and common sense. World leaders trust his judgement, but are less certain of arm chair warriors like Bush who only added to fear and distrust. Republicans carry this lablel forward.

Steven Kyriak

Steven Kyriak I can trust Barack Obama. I cannot trust Mitt Romney

WaterBoys Apperal

WaterBoys Apperal sprending needs to be slim down

Carmen Spoor

Carmen Spoor We all want a strong Military. But the cold war is over and we are winding down the other two unneccessary wars from Bush. We don't need to add 100,000 troops or to increase defense spending to the amounts Romney ...See More

D Exford Franklin

D Exford Franklin Because Brush put two wars on a credit card and did not include the wars in his budget, so Barack came in and included the wars which made the defict go up. I support him on this issue because he ...See More

Verma Cooke-hutchinson

Verma Cooke-hutchinson The President needs to keep doing what he is doing.

Jake Lester

Jake Lester I was in Iraq for years, and I was also in the Afghanistan war. I know, first hand, that what we need is "a leaner military that would focus more on intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and counterterrorism." I could not have ...See More

Robin Hodgkinson

Robin Hodgkinson Romney's war mongering is similar to Bush before he invaded Iraq. Military spending is not the appropriate way to "rebuild" our economy at the expense of young lives.

David Asgard

David Asgard Defense is a bottomless pit. We don't need to have a more expensive military than the rest of the industrialized world combined. We have rebuilding to do at home.

Patrick Joseph

Patrick Joseph President Obama Defense Approach is more in line with the new world order.

Hanna Martinez De Garcia

Hanna Martinez De Garcia The UN Security Council was created to help reduce and create safe borders, to sop small countries in creating larger allied wars. President Bush ignored the protocols established by the United Nations, and invaded a country without UN Security approval. ...See More

Keela Francis

Keela Francis Because Obama knows what we need! The military isn't asking for anymore money. GO OBAMA!

Mimi Piker

Mimi Piker lifelong military kid

Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson more spies, more drones, less boots on the ground. Its a new battle field out their

Charles Thomas

Charles Thomas I think that Mitt Romney is a loose cannon and should do some front line fighting before he starts another war.The US needs to be strong dont need to always tell other nations what they can do.The presedent said he ...See More

Patricia D Nesberg

Patricia D Nesberg Cut the military budget. It's filled with contracts the Pentagon doesn't want, but particular good old boy congressmen want for their districts (Mobile AL comes to mind). There's bloat in it, yet an underfunded VA system which should be following ...See More

Ansara Lee Sr.

Ansara Lee Sr. no need for huge armed services anymore...wars are fault on a higher level than troops on the ground....Mitt lives in the 50's and 60's...wants to spend money military does not want..

Thom Isanski

Thom Isanski Too much spending on wars...want a more careful approach. Romney has too many bush left overs on his team.

Carol Johnson

Carol Johnson I think it is time we cut the spending for defense. I urge all to read Eisenhower's speech on the military/industrial complex when he left office and things have gotten worse since then. We spend as much on defense than ...See More

Carol Johnson

Carol Johnson I think it is time we cut the spending for defense. I urge all to read Eisenhower's speech on the military/industrial complex when he left office and things have gotten worse since then. We spend as much on defense than ...See More

Jake Mihalak

Jake Mihalak Unforunately Military Spending is the same as government spending. a good deal of it is wasteful as well. it should be streamlined and severe penalties should be setup for contractors who take advantage of the system.

Ilse Genovese

Ilse Genovese Everybody needs to tighten their belts. If the cuts affect contractors and not servicemen and women, and if indeed we want to put our country on a sounder path, then everything should be on the table.

Andy Bilmanis

Andy Bilmanis need to avoid feeding the defense establishment buy the right tools/weapons like drones save money

Steve Schonberg

Steve Schonberg We do need to cut back on outrageous defense spending created because we do not have public funding of political campaigns. The defense industry spends billions of dollars on lobbiests in Washington.

SA ReUnion

SA ReUnion The president understands the future war fighting needs base don the digital footprint. Romney is still caught in a time warp where the more metal one has the better its outcome. Just more stuff to blow up!

Mary E Pea

Mary E Pea Even senior Pentagon officials, military leaders and the Secretary of Defense have stated that they do not need the $2 trillion dollars Romney and Ryan want to spend on ships, aircraft programs, and personnel that Romney/Ryan tout. Where would the ...See More

Robert Stone

Robert Stone We already have the most powerful military the world has ever seen and it has not been able to win a war since WWII, time for a rethink. We definitely don't ned a bigger one.

Michael J. Gould

Michael J. Gould Obama has supported cuts that the Pentagon has said THEY want. Adding unwanted $ to the defense budget will add to the deficit.

Michael Rau

Michael Rau The UN Security Council was created to help reduce and create safe borders, to sop small countries in creating larger allied wars. President Bush ignored the protocols established by the United Nations, and invaded a country without UN Security approval. ...See More

Rob Wood

Rob Wood he is not a flip flopper

Sarah Hamer

Sarah Hamer I have 3 grandchildren in the military, I trust obama with their lives

Will Seeley

Will Seeley Our military budget is larger than those of every other major military power combined. we could cut half of it and still be the most dangerous military on Earth.

Barbara Wade Faulkner

Barbara Wade Faulkner Mitt Romney do not care about a military that he protest for a war that he himself ran over seas not to be in.. He is a COWARD.VOTE PRESIDENT OBAMA.. FIGHTING FOR OUR MILITARY SOLDIERS.

Svend la Rose

Svend la Rose I want the Federal Army to fit in Uncle Sam's back pocket and to replace it with a strong, large National Guard and State Guard.

Diana Kitch

Diana Kitch He'd like to get out. Mitt wants war money.

Don Mau

Don Mau If we don't try to fight 2 1/2 wars all the time, we don't need an army geared for that contingency. It's a different world we live in and we need to adjust.

Norman Powell

Norman Powell We should not be the world's police. Let us be "smart" with military spending and focus on real and immediate needs. Continued excessive military spending contributes to the expansion of the debt. For a stronger future, those expenditures would be ...See More

Marcus Johnson

Marcus Johnson I think we do need to limit our presence in Europe and let that country stand on it's own without the U.S. looking over their shoulder. Right now with the deficit, uneployment and other issues, the military can wait to ...See More

Michael Dills

Michael Dills Better to serve my self interest than other candidate

Lisa Knighton

Lisa Knighton He have shown how to handle the military well.

Patricia Carlton

Patricia Carlton We're not the policeman of the world. The military hasn't even requested all the money Romney would like to pour in.

Johnny Joachin

Johnny Joachin Because He understand better how to use military wisely than Romeny

Jerry Jewler

Jerry Jewler We cannot protect all peoples around the globe. Obama has the right idea.

Regina McClean

Regina McClean Even though America had to, I believe too much money has been spent in this area. It's time to take care of home and our American citizens!

Millicent Hollins

Millicent Hollins Our military budget is too, too large and needs severe reductions in spending.

Mauricio Mesa Cordoba

Mauricio Mesa Cordoba That money that could have use to education, infrastructure, creating public jobs, was lost in two unnecessary wars. Use this extra money building energy resources and infrastructure.

Ezekiel Josephs

Ezekiel Josephs I think we spend to much on the military

Vicki Green

Vicki Green So far, President has accomplished quite a bit concerning al-quadi. More than Bush's 8 years. Romney's trip to Europe was one debacle after another.

Laura Nina Thomas

Laura Nina Thomas We should only fight wars which are necessary and I agree with the president on a leaner military.

Alvin Mccartney

Alvin Mccartney I THINK A LEAN MEAN MILITARY IS BETTER THEN GIVING MY PARTY BACKERS CONTRACT JUST TO SAY THANKS FOR THE MONEY AND LOOK I CREATED JOBS

Carlos Gonzales

Carlos Gonzales We should only Fight the Wars we need to Fight. NOT the Wars that Politicians want to Fight. The time is long overdue to Convert Swords into Plowshares. Citing the Civil War saying: "Rich man's War, Poor Man's Fight".

John Forbyn

John Forbyn We don't need to spend near what we have on the military. We need schools, healthy food, and jobs. The military should not be a giant industry.

Maeve Ryan

Maeve Ryan Since Romney would start another war I guess that would cost a lot, especially if he reduced taxes too like he said he would. What a jerk. And a liar. Look where that plan has already got us.

Paid Subscriber

Paid Subscriber Right now the USA spends more money on defense than the top 25 countries in the world combined. Its almost like we need a war to keep people employed. What we've done is ignored our infrastructure, but President Obama wants ...See More

Bernard Fensterwald

Bernard Fensterwald We need a smaller, leaner military able to respond quickly and decisively to world issues as they arise.

Julia Gosztyla Ziobro

Julia Gosztyla Ziobro I want the military to be cut dramatically across the board and neither candidate does that.

Howard Louis Vicini

Howard Louis Vicini President Obama has based his budget for military spending on real world experience and what the military has asked him for. Romney wants to continue cutting social programs, education, and Social Security / Medicare to continue funding a military budget ...See More

William Timon

William Timon Obama is a caustious man who evaluate the measure of events. A man who is calm and full of wisdom to use the military only in the interest of national security and the protection of all Americans.

William Timon

William Timon Better vision for the role of military. Obama is a `cautious man who weigh things before he acts, that's a wisman.

Jerry Planta

Jerry Planta WE NNED TO END THE WARS, WE HAVE THE BEST MILITARY IN THE WORLD, BUT THE USA IS HURTING AND WE NEED TO MAKE IT STRONG, WE NEED OUR HEROES HOME

David Hess

David Hess President Obama has ended the Iraq war, he is in the process of ending the Afghanistan war, and he will not start another war, thank god.

Mitch Freifeld

Mitch Freifeld obama and the democrats aim it to end wars and this costs money. romney and the republicans want to start them (look at the bush administration!) and that costs way, way more money, not to mention american lives. romney + ...See More

Minerva Aracely Munoz Sanchez

Minerva Aracely Munoz Sanchez There are currently more important issues to take in account such as jobs and education. By implememting and enhacing military spending it is actually sending a message to other nations that we feel hostily towards them and need to be ...See More

Lucky Mesenko

Lucky Mesenko "Modernize our military"? What planet is Mitt Romney living on (Kolob, perhaps?) Go ahead and google the F-22 or F-35 projects, or look at how readily we decommission the largest, most advanced warships in the world and scrap them. It's ...See More

Lucky Mesenko

Lucky Mesenko "Modernize our military"? What planet is Mitt Romney living on (Kolob, perhaps?) Go ahead and google the F-22 or F-35 projects, or look at how readily we decommission the largest, most advanced warships in the world and scrap them. It's ...See More

Anshul Gupta

Anshul Gupta We have $2.5T in tax revenues, $0.9T in military spending, and $2.9T is civilian spending. Even Pentagon favors cuts because unlike politicians, Pentagon realizes that we are following the path of the USSR. Excessive military spending becoming a huge drag ...See More

Kathy Wallace

Kathy Wallace Money spent on infrastructure and education much better for job creation and long term strength of nation for the future.

Emberdink Humberdittle

Emberdink Humberdittle Mitt has made a fool of himself with his ridiculous tax plan "Tax Cuts for Everyone - Especially Me!" and his barking about expanding the military. What does he plan to pay them with, jelly beans?

Kathleen Nelson

Kathleen Nelson We need to get out of our heads that we are the world's cops. Not every society wants to be a democracy. Other countries are being ruled in different ways from America and they are getting along fine. We need ...See More

Ravshan Tohirov

Ravshan Tohirov All American people against of any military action and wars and Obama know this well.

Dee Hilton

Dee Hilton He's got the country headed in the right direction. We need to give him four more years to get the U.S. back on its feet. Plus, he is genuine. He is moral. Two qualities that Romney does not have.

Edwin Knepshield

Edwin Knepshield He has experience and focus.

Ron Vanderford

Ron Vanderford Obama's plan is much more realistic.

Brian Wind

Brian Wind We need a rational approach to security and defence. Obama is offering a reasonal management to security that will de-escalate conflict, rather than Romneys plan to remain the bully of the planet.

Petur Gudlaugsson

Petur Gudlaugsson Obama's steady and reasoned handling of issues is much preferable to the "willy-nilly-tell-them-what-they-want-to-hear-truth-and-conviction-be-damned" approach of the Romney camp.

Alan Nelson

Alan Nelson He won't give as much money and support to the far right Israelis as Romney.

Jeffery Smith

Jeffery Smith Less war will definitely save tons of money.

Aaron Rodriguez

Aaron Rodriguez Need to trim the excess and promote social programs here at home expressed by Obama is exactly what I feel.

David Hess

David Hess President Obama is absolutely right when it comes to military cuts, We have pulled out of Iraq, saving money on that, and we are going to pull out of Afghanistan which will also save a ton of money for america, ...See More

Nancy Berry

Nancy Berry Thought, not egocentric bluster over perceived historic revisited perceptions is Pres. Obama's first step toward any problem. Rational, reasoning inquiry into any international problem keeps people, ours and theirs alive, well and with their families.

Raphael Connor

Raphael Connor To balance the budget all items need to be on the table. Only President Obama will follow that course. Gov. Romney not only take military spending of the talbe he will gut other programs to expand military spending.

George Henderson

George Henderson The Romney approach to voodoo economics is loony across the board. Of course we can have a strong military without spending megabucks on superfluous bells and whistles and other frills designed primarily to further enrich a few favorite super-rich defense ...See More

Patricia Wexler

Patricia Wexler I like what Obama had to say

Rachel Jenkins

Rachel Jenkins I agree with the commenters who say a smarter (and healthier, and better supported) military is a stronger military. Obama and the Democrats clearly want to rebuild America. Romney and Ryan want to give what's left of our wealth to ...See More

Brody Giebink

Brody Giebink A smarter military is a better military. By focusing on knowing where terrorists or other potential enemies are active, and what they are doing, we can know who we are truly fighting. The Cold War is over. World War II ...See More

Ann Marie Joyce

Ann Marie Joyce he's making decision in consort with the advive of his last defense secretary - Bob Gates-- a republican apppontee he kept on

Joseph Ankomah

Joseph Ankomah THE BEST PRESIDENT IS OBAMA.

Roni Knell

Roni Knell He doesn't spout his opinions before he thinks on them and how they would be reacted to by those that will be the most affected.

Steve Howie

Steve Howie Obama understands that military spending is important, but that it is not a sacred cow. He will not be bullied into unwise decisions by people who try to exploit our fear or our anger about an uncertain world. We certainly ...See More

Jonas Makasa

Jonas Makasa He handles terrarism with cautious steady and focus

AmandaKay Schraufnagel Mazurkiewicz

AmandaKay Schraufnagel Mazurkiewicz Our current Military Budget for USA is $711Billion a year. We spend the most on military in the world the next highest spender is China at $149 Billion and then it drops down to $60 Billion. We spend too much ...See More

Jerry Ez

Jerry Ez SMARTER than GOP INCOMPETENCE. GOP are like a person with a bad spending habit with a credit card!

Wanda Winterrowd

Wanda Winterrowd Barack Obama is more trustworthy than Mitt Romeny and has more expierence in this firld

Napoleon Holliman

Napoleon Holliman President Obama has more experience and intelligents regarding all aspects of Government

Steven Foster

Steven Foster Why do we need more we are already the strongest most equipped already

Judith McCarthy

Judith McCarthy President Obama has a better grasp on what needs to be done, and where, and that Americans are less inclined today to spend lives and resources on unnecessary wars.

Denise Oliver-Velez

Denise Oliver-Velez He is willing to cut waste, and to get us out of two deadly wars initiated by Bush.

Martin Chiaravalloti

Martin Chiaravalloti GOP got us into war in Iraq for no reason, I don't want to see the same thing happen in Iran.

Arshad S. Alvi

Arshad S. Alvi It is time for nation building and job growth. Let's strike a peace time balance and produce more college graduates who will innovate and blunt any future emerging challenges, militarily or otherwise.

JeaGloris Powell

JeaGloris Powell President Obama is not trying to gut the military he mainly trying to prevent America's tax dollars funding a war that does not need to be funded. Personally he has done an excellent job isn sercuring our country. Better than ...See More

Dennis Herdina

Dennis Herdina I would sooner see the use of secondary sources such as intel or counter terrorism used than see the heavy fighting forces used. A surgical operation is much better and less risky than a club to the head.

Francis Bondzi-Simpson

Francis Bondzi-Simpson The obstructionism by the Republicans is the culprit behind our economic plight. Let us not forget Mitch McConnel's widely publicized statement of his goal to make Obama a one term president. The obstruct and put the blame for consequences of ...See More

Tashira Murray

Tashira Murray There is to much presence in other counry's. We need to focus on what is more important.

Donna M Crane

Donna M Crane The President has a responsible budget for the Military, in accordance with what the military has asked for. Ryan/Romney budged allocates 2 Trillion more than the military is even asking for and seeks to extend our presence in Afghanistan and ...See More

Jane Davis

Jane Davis Romney's words are empty. Obama is intelligent on this matter focusing more on INTELLIGENCE, and counterterrorism.

Yannick Luce Yambaka

Yannick Luce Yambaka Trust and patience

Robert Warner

Robert Warner Smart thinking about yhe future. Romney - right wing Republican, heavy handed, mindless bluster with other folk's children in the front line.

Jason Safford

Jason Safford Uhm - If you don't know who our enemies are, and you have no idea where Afghanistan is, and you really don't give a crap about our soldiers enough to solute them or pay tribute to them in your acceptance ...See More

Michaelle Michelle Marks

Michaelle Michelle Marks "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" All these steps by President Obama are preventative in nature. That's sound leadership.

Muthu Ganapathy

Muthu Ganapathy I like more intelligence. Lesser expense and better cooperation from allys.

Michael Petersen

Michael Petersen To say you are consernd about our budget, and in the same breath want to increase an already bloated military budget and give tax cuts to the wealthy is hypocrocy at its finest.

Shari Turner

Shari Turner Obama is far more reserved when it comes to fighting wars. He wants to get it done and bring our troops home. He doesn't want to invest in wars we don't have to have. He got Bin Laden. We are ...See More

Jay Staxx Sr.

Jay Staxx Sr. President Obama has already announced plans for a leaner military, with more focus on intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and counter-terrorism. We has demonstrated his capability as Commander-In-Chief. Romney put forward a plan that would increase military spending in excess of $2 ...See More

Robert Merle Dane

Robert Merle Dane Putting a minimum amount we will spend on the military rather than a maximum shows where Romney stands with the "Military Industrial Complex" Eisenhower warned us about. Military spending is a huge part of our budget. We need to cut ...See More

Ruhy Bremen

Ruhy Bremen No more war, negotiation is the best policy.

Leta Ward-Dawson

Leta Ward-Dawson He's ending the wars responsibly.

David Britt

David Britt Obama is smart, pragmatic and decisive; Romney is trapped in the Bushes with the neocons, and saddled with agreeing with whatever Netanyahu decides to do.

Lynn Pelletier

Lynn Pelletier Obama knows that we need to cut Military spending....he never said stop spending he said spend smarter.....stuff was ordered years ago that we can still cancell that even our generals say are out dated and we don't need.....

Jeff Bunting

Jeff Bunting Obama has been very successful in the past when it comes to foreign policy. No matter what some propaganda biased movie or some SEAL trying to sell a book to make a quick profit tries to say.

Sage Keramet Bellamy

Sage Keramet Bellamy We have been successful with him as a leader

Mike Askme

Mike Askme because the USA does not need more bombs, what we need are more books. we already outspend the next 8 nations combined when it comes to military spending. Who are we afraid of??

James Logan

James Logan His approach is the one that I favor. I don't go for people that want to cut holes in the safety net and then increase military spending. The military is part of the government, too big a part, but still ...See More

Mamie-Louise Anderson

Mamie-Louise Anderson I agree. A lean, high-tech military is the wave of the future. Contrary to Mr. Romney's opinion, the cold war is over.

Jackie Wilson

Jackie Wilson Cut it, only do it by getting rid of those that would over bill us, and take advantage of us.

Jaime Ayala

Jaime Ayala He has shown a steady, calm hand, kept deadlines to retire troops and permanently retired, not one but many terrorists with the least risk of soldiers lives in history. Really wants to finish the job at both levels

Dawana Lee

Dawana Lee For the Obvious reasons he knows what he's doing. Actually when the war in Afghan. is over it would be nice to cut military spending.

Lenoa L Gary

Lenoa L Gary Because he got the killer who killed US people on 9-11

Jane M Comer

Jane M Comer More is not always better. We have doubled our military spending. Time to cut back.

Martha Ramirez

Martha Ramirez It makes sense. Time to focus on the future, move forward, use the tools we have in the 21st century to confront the issues of the 21st century. Romney has surrounded himself with Bush neocon advisers and seems to feel ...See More

Darlene Williams

Darlene Williams President Obama has demonstrated with excellence that he understands and can provide solutions regarding military spending and as Commander in Chief.

Joan Hyde

Joan Hyde He stands up for Veterans when the GOP wants to cut benefits to our countries heros.

Paul Trotter

Paul Trotter Romney is an extension of the Bush/ Cheney war machine.

Lenes Lana

Lenes Lana President Obama's Military budget is based on the sensitive needs of the military personnel, its contractors, suppliers and of course the American people. Cuts and spending are balanced and based on common sense. It is supported by the top military ...See More

Marlene Langkilde Tuitele

Marlene Langkilde Tuitele I am all for a healthy military which requires spending, but much of the bloated contracts are for equipment that are obsolete or not in use. Military Spending needs to be audited and cleaned up. It is the biggest chunk ...See More

Dev Sta

Dev Sta Just can't trust Romney on this ... or anything ...

Melissa Resek

Melissa Resek Make peace...Mind our own business...Think "Switzerland"

Ray Barnes

Ray Barnes AFTER WAR CRIMINAL bush, NO republican SHOULD BE TRUSTED WITH THE MILITARY...

Fernando Salazar

Fernando Salazar The focus of our military should now be Asia, especially in keeping an eye on China. Given our economic situation, there is no way we can afford a large military, but it is very important that we keep our Defense ...See More

Melody Goad

Melody Goad President Obama know that in order to help the people of America, and get the deficit under control that we need to cut back on Military spending.

Dan Hess

Dan Hess If there's one thing we DON'T need in today's America, it's an even more bloated military than we already have. Foreign policy should mean more than swinging our military power around like a big stick.

Testy John

Testy John he will make the us militry strong.

Gary James

Gary James Much of the money that could have gone to education, infrastructure, creating public jobs, was lost in two unnecessary wars. Iran was basically illegal as well. It is sad that our young men and women are still involved in these ...See More

Matt Michels

Matt Michels It's based on an analysis of the defense situation, not arbitrary political expedience.

John Sullivan

John Sullivan I believe the President has shown himself to be a capable Commander-in-Chief. I also believe as CnC the President will not lead us into unnecessary wars. The President will continue to do what is right for the country.

Jan Killgore

Jan Killgore I believe Obama's focus is in the right place. I do not trust Romney or anyone whose full focus is money in his and his rich friends pocket. I don't think he really cares how much we have or will ...See More

David H. Partington

David H. Partington I trust Mr. Obama; I do not trust Mr. Romney. Furthermore, it is patently obvious that Obama is far more knowledgeable about foreign affairs than Romney, who thinks that one brief visit to Israel qualifies him to be the leader ...See More

Gene Mills

Gene Mills He is not Mitt, the secretive, lying, distorting, far-right candidate.

Rodney Griffith

Rodney Griffith We are spending way too much compared to other countries, we just need to defend ourselves, not police the entire world.

Helene Nicholson

Helene Nicholson I trust him

Terrill Wolfe

Terrill Wolfe because we could use less money going into the coffers of the military complex and more going into social security and infrastructure.

Pam Miner

Pam Miner We have more than enough in military.

Frank Robert

Frank Robert Without going into detail....I just do

Spot Ify

Spot Ify We need to cut military spending and we know Republicans wont do it.

D-Faried Ahmed

D-Faried Ahmed No-brainer. The President who brought the Iraq campaign to an end, gave the orders that led to Bin Landen's death and has given servicemembers an average of 2% pay-raise a year gets my vote. Additionally he leans equally as hard ...See More

David Lux

David Lux Time to scale back on military spending. We need a military, but we don't need nearly 5% of GDP on military. Very few countries in the world spend a higher % of GDP -- and they don't have such big ...See More

Pam Miner

Pam Miner Our nation already spends more on military than the next 28 countries combined. We are way past overkill.

Samora Proctor

Samora Proctor Budgeting for the future !

RickandCarol Fidler

RickandCarol Fidler Incredible intelligence do to the trust he created.

Hussein M. Ali

Hussein M. Ali Killed most of Bad guys

Michelle Robinson

Michelle Robinson We are still outspending almost all other countries COMBINED on the military...get real!

Jane Plitt

Jane Plitt He thinks about the human cost of war and is unafraid to be more strategic, rather than macho.

Sydna Taylor

Sydna Taylor He has a better plan than Romney. He has also shown his dedication to providing services for our Military men and women. Fear is not a platform for Military Spending and that is what the Romney plan is based on.See More

Johnice Reid

Johnice Reid Prudent measures have been taken and I trust they will continue!

Doug Tise

Doug Tise No more new wars = less military obilgations.

Victor Pachadé

Victor Pachadé President Obama's spending is smart spending...cutting down on waste and investing in technology!

Veronica Leary

Veronica Leary The defense budget for the US is TEN TIMES larger than any other country's defense budget. By reducing our defense, we can help pay off the deficit while still having the most well funded defense budget in the world!

Hanns Barker

Hanns Barker We need to bring military spending to heel. Under "W"military spending rose dramatically because "W" got is in a two front war! The military space program gets more than NASA! What sense does that make? If it is a call ...See More

Carlton Goodwin

Carlton Goodwin The country needs smart, economical and realistic military policy. Mr. Romney is a re-hash of the old, and too expensive, policies of the past.

Tonya Michaels

Tonya Michaels It would be nice if we were looking for ways to get along with people instead of rattling our swords all the time to "keep the world safe for democracy." We spend roughly 42% of the world's military budget. China ...See More

Paul Klutes

Paul Klutes Our military budget is much bigger as a % of GDP than it was when we were facing down the USSR and Communist China . . . WHY? It desperately needs to shrink, and for the "Trucks not limos" mentality ...See More

Georgie Perez

Georgie Perez Iraq war is over, let spend that money here at home, on education, roads, bridges, transportation,etc.

Bailey Dm

Bailey Dm lets spend that money at home and stop making weapons we do not need

Berry Lee

Berry Lee Im a vet but Im definetly for leaner military spending keeping most important weapons! I worked in the Pentagon and I know there is room to cut back there!

Robert Lieb

Robert Lieb We don't need another war and Romney can hardly wait to attack Iran.

Theodore F Vick

Theodore F Vick Because it is the right thing to do.

Scott Kidd

Scott Kidd While military spending has long been a major US economic driver the President sees that diverting some of that traditional spending to US infrastructure and debt-repayment actually makes the country more secure.

Obama's Statements (421)

January 27, 2010
Third, we need to export more of our goods.    Because the more products we make and sell to other countries, the more jobs we support right here in America.    So tonight, we set a new goal:  We will double our exports over the next five years, an increase that will support two million jobs in America.    To help meet this goal, we're launching a National Export Initiative that will help farmers and small businesses increase their exports, and reform export controls consistent with national security. 
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January 27, 2010
Starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years.    Spending related to our national security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will not be affected.  But all other discretionary government programs will.  Like any cash-strapped family, we will work within a budget to invest in what we need and sacrifice what we don't.  And if I have to enforce this discipline by veto, I will. 
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January 27, 2010
Of course, none of these reforms will even happen if we don't also reform how we work with one another.  Now, I'm not naïve.  I never thought that the mere fact of my election would usher in peace and harmony -- and some post-partisan era.  I knew that both parties have fed divisions that are deeply entrenched.  And on some issues, there are simply philosophical differences that will always cause us to part ways. These disagreements, about the role of government in our lives, about our national priorities and our national security, they've been taking place for over 200 years.  They're the very essence of our democracy.
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January 27, 2010
That's the work we began last year.  Since the day I took office, we've renewed our focus on the terrorists who threaten our nation.  We've made substantial investments in our homeland security and disrupted plots that threatened to take American lives.  We are filling unacceptable gaps revealed by the failed Christmas attack, with better airline security and swifter action on our intelligence.  We've prohibited torture and strengthened partnerships from the Pacific to South Asia to the Arabian Peninsula.  And in the last year, hundreds of al Qaeda's fighters and affiliates, including many senior leaders, have been captured or killed -- far more than in 2008.
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January 27, 2010
As we take the fight to al Qaeda, we are responsibly leaving Iraq to its people.  As a candidate, I promised that I would end this war, and that is what I am doing as President.  We will have all of our combat troops out of Iraq by the end of this August.    We will support the Iraqi government -- we will support the Iraqi government as they hold elections, and we will continue to partner with the Iraqi people to promote regional peace and prosperity.  But make no mistake:  This war is ending, and all of our troops are coming home. 
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January 27, 2010
Tonight, all of our men and women in uniform -- in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and around the world –- they have to know that we -- that they have our respect, our gratitude, our full support.  And just as they must have the resources they need in war, we all have a responsibility to support them when they come home.    That's why we made the largest increase in investments for veterans in decades -- last year.     That's why we're building a 21st century VA.  And that's why Michelle has joined with Jill Biden to forge a national commitment to support military families. 
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January 29, 2010
I've said this before, but I'm a big believer not just in the value of a loyal opposition, but in its necessity.  Having differences of opinion, having a real debate about matters of domestic policy and national security -- and that's not something that's only good for our country, it's absolutely essential.  It's only through the process of disagreement and debate that bad ideas get tossed out and good ideas get refined and made better.  And that kind of vigorous back and forth -- that imperfect but well-founded process, messy as it often is -- is at the heart of our democracy.  That's what makes us the greatest nation in the world.
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January 29, 2010
It's that same spirit of bipartisanship that made it possible for me to sign a defense contracting reform bill that was cosponsored by Senator McCain and members of Congress here today.  We've stood together on behalf of our nation's veterans.  Together we passed the largest increase in the VA's budget in more than 30 years and supported essential veterans' health care reforms to provide better access and medical care for those who serve in uniform.
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January 29, 2010
We know that we've got a major fiscal challenge in reining in deficits that have been growing for a decade, and threaten our future.  That's why I've proposed a three-year freeze in discretionary spending other than what we need for national security.  That's something we should do together that's consistent with a lot of the talk both in Democratic caucuses and Republican caucuses.  We can't blink when it's time to actually do the job.
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February 22, 2010
And so we welcome your ideas.  We welcome your input.  The main thing tonight, though, is we expect you to have a good time.    So, with that, what I'd like to do is to offer a toast.  I'd like to offer this toast not only to our constituents, who put up with us and have gone through some extraordinarily difficult times, but I also want to offer a toast to our spouses and families who make extraordinary sacrifices.  Some of them oftentimes don't always -- Michelle, she's starting to clank already.    But our families, our children, all those people who are so supportive of these extraordinary efforts that we're making.
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March 26, 2010
Broadly speaking, the new START treaty makes progress in several areas.  It cuts -- by about a third -- the nuclear weapons that the United States and Russia will deploy.  It significantly reduces missiles and launchers.  It puts in place a strong and effective verification regime.  And it maintains the flexibility that we need to protect and advance our national security, and to guarantee our unwavering commitment to the security of our allies.
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March 26, 2010
I also want to thank my national security team, who did so much work to make this day possible.  That includes the leaders with me here today -- Secretary Clinton, Secretary Gates, and Admiral Mullen.  And it includes a tireless negotiating team.  It took patience.  It took perseverance.  But we never gave up.  And as a result, the United States will be more secure, and the American people will be safer.
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March 28, 2010
We’re also joined by troops from some of our coalition partners, because this is not simply an American mission or even just a NATO mission.  Al Qaeda and their extremist allies are a threat to the people of Afghanistan and a threat to the people of America, but they’re also a threat to people all around the world, and that’s why we’re so proud to have our coalition partners here with us.  Thank you very much for the great work that you do.  We salute you and we honor you for all the sacrifices you make, and you are a true friend of the United States of America.  Thank you very much. 
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March 28, 2010
And we also salute the members of the Afghan National Army who are fighting alongside all of you.  They’re risking their lives to protect their country.  And as I told President Karzai today, the United States is a partner but our intent is to make sure that the Afghans have the capacity to provide for their own security.  That is core to our mission, and we are proud of the work that they are doing and the continuing increased capacity that we’re seeing out of Afghan national security forces.  So thank you very much for the great work you’re doing to take responsibility for security here in your own country.
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March 28, 2010
And I know it’s not easy.  You’re far away from home.  You miss your kids.  You miss your spouses, your family, your friends.  Some of you, this is your second or your third or your fourth tour of duty.  I’ll tell you right now the same thing that I said at West Point last December.  If I thought for a minute that America’s vital interests were not served, were not at stake here in Afghanistan, I would order all of you home right away.
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March 28, 2010
Many of the troops that I ordered to Afghanistan have begun to arrive, and more are on the way.  And we’ll continue to work with Congress to make sure that you’ve got the equipment that you need, particularly as we complete our drawdown in Iraq.  We’re providing more helicopters, we’re providing more intelligence and reconnaissance capabilities, more special operations forces, more armored vehicles that can save lives.
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March 28, 2010
And across the border, Pakistan is mounting major offensives.  We’ve seen violent extremists pushed out of their sanctuaries.  We’ve struck major blows against al Qaeda leadership as well as the Taliban’s.  They are hunkered down.  They’re worried about their own safety.  It’s harder for them to move, it’s harder for them to train and to plot and to attack, and all of that makes America safer.  And we are going to keep them on the run because that is what’s going to be required in order to assure that our families back home have the security that they need.  That’s the work that you are doing.
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March 28, 2010
And I also want you to know that as you’re doing your duty here, we’re going to do right by you back home.  We’re going to help take care of your families, and that’s why the First Lady Michelle Obama visited with military families and makes sure that their needs are met.  That’s why she stays after me once she gets home, when I’m at the White House.  And we’re going to make sure that we are keeping to improve your pay and your benefits, but also things like childcare and support that ensure that you’ve got a little bit of security knowing your family is being looked after back home.
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March 28, 2010
And we’ll be there for your when you come home.  It’s why we’re improving care for our wounded warriors, especially those with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries.  We’re moving forward with the Post-9/11 GI Bill so you and your families can pursue your dreams.  And we’ve made the biggest increase in the VA budget in 30 years, because we’re going to keep our sacred trust with all those who serve.
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March 30, 2010
We reaffirmed our commitment to confront the greatest threat to global security —- the spread of nuclear weapons.  And I updated President Sarkozy on our new START treaty with Russia.  I look forward to welcoming President Sarkozy back to Washington in two weeks for our summit on securing vulnerable nuclear material so that they never fall into the hands of terrorists.
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March 31, 2010
Now, it’s true that women are still disproportionately affected by this issue -- something Michelle always reminds me of -- which is another reason why it’s such great concern for me.  But plenty of fathers out there wish they had more time to spend with their kids.  Plenty of sons wish they could do more for their elderly parents.  Plenty of workers -- both women and men -- wish they could go back to school so they can beef up their skills and advance their careers.  And there are plenty of communities that desperately need the new jobs we can create when we embrace teleworking and mobile workplaces.
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March 31, 2010
So today we’re announcing the expansion of offshore oil and gas exploration, but in ways that balance the need to harness domestic energy resources and the need to protect America’s natural resources.  Under the leadership of Secretary Salazar, we’ll employ new technologies that reduce the impact of oil exploration.  We’ll protect areas that are vital to tourism, the environment, and our national security.  And we’ll be guided not by political ideology, but by scientific evidence.
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April 23, 2010
We celebrate the love of family -- your moms and dads who were willing to say good-bye to their own families, their own countries, so they could have an opportunity to give you the opportunity you [sic] never had.  Like generations of immigrants before them, they worked hard.  They scrimped and they saved.  They deferred their own dreams so that you could realize yours.  So today is a tribute to their sacrifices as well.  And I would ask that you join me in honoring your moms and dads and the families that helped bring you to this day. 
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April 23, 2010
Government has a responsibility to enforce the law and secure our borders and set clear rules and priorities for future immigration.  And under Secretary Napolitano’s leadership at the Department of Homeland Security, that’s exactly what we’re doing.  We’ve strengthened security at our borders, ports and airports and we will continue to do so, because America’s borders must be secure.  That’s part of what these young people here today stand for.
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April 23, 2010
He deployed to Iraq, and was serving his second tour when his unit was struck by an improvised explosive device.  In the weeks and months that followed, he battled to recover from traumatic brain injury.  At a VA medical center, with his parents at his side, he was presented a Purple Heart.  And a few moments later, he was sworn in as an American citizen.
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April 26, 2010
And that’s why I went to Cairo nearly one year ago and called for a new beginning between the United States and Muslim communities -- a new beginning based on mutual interest and mutual respect.  I knew that this vision would not be fulfilled in a single year, or even several years.  But I knew we had to begin and that all of us have responsibilities to fulfill.   As President, I’ve worked to ensure that America once again meets its responsibilities, especially when it comes to the security and political issues that have often been a source of tension.  The United States is responsibly ending the war in Iraq, and we will partner with Iraqi people for their long-term prosperity and security.  In Afghanistan, in Pakistan and beyond, we’re forging new partnerships to isolate violent extremists, but also to combat corruption and foster the development that improves lives and communities.
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April 27, 2010
For decades our schools have been failing too many of our kids.  For decades, our dependence on foreign oil threatened our economic and national security.  For decades, families have been struggling with out-of-control health care premiums.  For decades, our deficits -- well, actually just a decade -- our deficits were unacceptably large year after year -- because 10 years ago, we actually had a surplus. 
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April 27, 2010
So we’ve talked about this problem for a long time -- how it threatened future generations.  We talked about issues of how the climate is changing.  We talked about how it threatened our national security because we’re dependent on other countries for what makes our country run -- dependence that grew deeper with every passing year.
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April 27, 2010
Finally, I’ve proposed a freeze in government spending for three years.  This won’t affect benefits through Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security.  And it will not affect national security, including benefits for veterans.  But it will affect all other discretionary spending.  My budget ends loopholes and tax giveaways for oil and gas companies and for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans –- because we just can’t afford them.  And I kept my promise to pass a health reform bill without adding a dime to the deficit.  In fact, by attacking waste and fraud and promoting better care, reform is expected to bring down our deficits by more than $1 trillion over the next two decades.
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April 29, 2010
I've been receiving frequent briefings from members of my Cabinet and White House staff, including an update last night on the additional breach and another update this morning.  And while BP is ultimately responsible for funding the cost of response and cleanup operations, my administration will continue to use every single available resource at our disposal, including potentially the Department of Defense, to address the incident.
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April 29, 2010
Earlier today, DHS Secretary Napolitano announced that this incident is of national significance and the Department of Interior has announced that they will be sending SWAT teams to the Gulf to inspect all platforms and rigs.  And I have ordered the Secretaries of Interior and Homeland Security as well as Administrator Lisa Jackson of the Environmental Protection Agency to visit the site on Friday to ensure that BP and the entire U.S. government is doing everything possible, not just to respond to this incident, but also to determine its cause.  And I've been in contact with all the governors of the states that may be affected by this accident.
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May 22, 2010
Thank you, General Hagenbeck, for your introduction, on a day that holds special meaning for you and the Dean, General Finnegan.  Both of you first came to West Point in the Class of 1971 and went on to inspire soldiers under your command.  You’ve led this Academy to a well-deserved recognition:  best college in America.    And today, you’re both looking forward to a well-deserved retirement from the Army.  General Hagenbeck and Judy, General Finnegan and Joan, we thank you for 39 years of remarkable service to the Army and to America. 
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May 22, 2010
To the Commandant, General Rapp, the Academy staff and faculty, most of whom are veterans, thank you for your service and for inspiring these cadets to become the “leaders of character” they are today.    Let me also acknowledge the presence of General Shinseki, Secretary McHugh, the members of Congress who are with us here today, including two former soldiers this Academy knows well, Senator Jack Reed and Congressman Patrick Murphy. 
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May 22, 2010
To the United States Corps of Cadets, and most of all, the Class of 2010 -- it is a singular honor to serve as your Commander-in-Chief.  As your Superintendent indicated, under our constitutional system my power as President is wisely limited.  But there are some areas where my power is absolute.  And so, as your Commander-in-Chief, I hereby absolve all cadets who are on restriction for minor conduct offenses.    I will leave the definition of “minor” -- to those who know better. 
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May 22, 2010
As we build these economic sources of our strength, the second thing we must do is build and integrate the capabilities that can advance our interests, and the common interests of human beings around the world.  America’s armed forces are adapting to changing times, but your efforts have to be complemented.  We will need the renewed engagement of our diplomats, from grand capitals to dangerous outposts.  We need development experts who can support Afghan agriculture and help Africans build the capacity to feed themselves.  We need intelligence agencies that work seamlessly with their counterparts to unravel plots that run from the mountains of Pakistan to the streets of our cities.  We need law enforcement that can strengthen judicial systems abroad, and protect us here at home.  And we need first responders who can act swiftly in the event of earthquakes and storms and disease.
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May 22, 2010
So the threat will not go away soon, but let’s be clear:  Al Qaeda and its affiliates are small men on the wrong side of history.  They lead no nation.  They lead no religion.  We need not give in to fear every time a terrorist tries to scare us.  We should not discard our freedoms because extremists try to exploit them.  We cannot succumb to division because others try to drive us apart.  We are the United States of America.    We are the United States of America, and we have repaired our union, and faced down fascism, and outlasted communism.  We’ve gone through turmoil, we’ve gone through Civil War, and we have come out stronger -- and we will do so once more. 
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May 26, 2010
And we’ve been putting it off for decade after decade after decade.  And it is about time that we said to ourselves that we’re ready to make a change on behalf of the future of our children and our grandchildren.    And it won’t happen overnight.  It won’t happen tomorrow.  It won’t happen next week.  But if we start investing in clean energy technology and solar and wind and biodiesel, if we invest in hybrid plug-ins that can get 150 miles a gallon, if we start making our buildings more efficient and if we start finally saying to ourselves we can’t just let everybody pollute for free -- if we follow science and we follow some common-sense principles, then, look, oil is still going to be in the energy mix.  We’re not going to eliminate that completely.  But we are going to over time transition to ourselves and we will become more energy efficient, which will be good for our national security, it will be good for our economy, it will be good for our environment, it will be good for our future.
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May 27, 2010
But make no mistake: BP is operating at our direction. Every key decision and action they take must be approved by us in advance. I’ve designated Admiral Thad Allen -– who has nearly four decades of experience responding to such disasters -– as the National Incident Commander, and if he orders BP to do something to respond to this disaster, they are legally bound to do it. So, for example, when they said they would drill one relief well to stem this leak we demanded a backup and ordered them to drill two. And they are in the process of drilling two.
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May 27, 2010
Now, one of the legitimate questions that I think needs to be asked is should the federal government have such capacity. And that's part of what the role of the commission is going to be, is to take a look and say, do we make sure that a consortium of oil companies pay for specifically technology to deal with this kind of incident when it happens. Should that response team that’s effective be under the direct charge of the United States government or a private entity? But for now, BP has the best technology, along with the other oil companies, when it comes to actually capping the well down there.
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May 27, 2010
, you announced -- or the White House announced two days ago that you were going to send 1,200 people to -- 1,200 members of the National Guard to the border. I want to -- if you could precise what their target is going to be, what you’re planning to achieve with that -- if you could clarify a bit more the mission that they're going to have.
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May 28, 2010
Good afternoon, everybody.  I know it’s a little warm out here so want to get started.  I’ve just had a meeting with these governors, members of Congress, local officials, as well as Admiral Thad Allen, the National Incident Commander in charge of response efforts to the BP oil spill.  Admiral Allen gave us an update, the latest information on both the efforts to plug the well, as well as giving us an update on arrangements and coordination that's being made with respect to mitigating this damage that's been done.
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May 28, 2010
America has never experienced an event like this before.  And that means that as we respond to it, not every judgment we make is going to be right the first time out.  Sometimes, there are going to be disagreements between experts, or between federal and state and local officials, or among state officials, or between states, about what the most effective measures will be.
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May 31, 2010
As some of you know, earlier today, I was honored to join the Memorial Day ceremony at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, Illinois.  Unfortunately, some extraordinary storms moved in, and for the safety of all involved, the ceremony was cancelled.  But while the storm was raging outside, I was fortunate to meet with some of the families, friends and veterans who had come to honor loved ones who had given their lives in service of this nation.  Later, I was privileged to visit with families of our wounded warriors as they battle to recover from the wounds of war.  And I want to stop by here because I fly in all the time but sometimes don’t get a chance to meet so many of you individually, to say thank you for your service, and recognize that long chain of valor and service that you are a part of.   The families that I met with know in their hearts what every American must never forget.  At its core, the nobility and the majesty of Memorial Day can be found in the story of ordinary Americans who become extraordinary for the most simple of reasons:  They loved their country so deeply, so profoundly, that they were willing to give their lives to keep it safe and free.
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May 31, 2010
This is what we honor today -- the lives they led, the service they rendered, the sacrifice that they’ve made for us.  In this time of war, we pay special tribute to the thousands of Americans who have given their lives during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and who have earned their place among the greatest of generations.  And though our heart aches in their absence, we find comfort in knowing that their legacy shines bright on the people they loved -- America’s Gold Star families.
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May 31, 2010
Their legacy lives on in the love of their spouses -- the wives and husbands who gave to our nation the person they cherished most in the world.  To all those spouses, you have sacrificed in ways most Americans can’t even begin to imagine, but as you summon the strength to carry on each day, know that you’re not alone, and that America will always be at your side.
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May 31, 2010
Their legacy lives on in those who fought alongside them -—our veterans who came home, you, our troops, who are still in harm’s way.  Just as you keep alive the memory of your fallen friends, America must keep its commitment to you.  And that means providing the support to our troops and families when they need it, and the health care and benefits that our veterans deserve.  This is our sacred trust to all who serve, and upholding that trust is a moral obligation.
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June 24, 2010
Our two countries continue to disagree on certain issues, such as Georgia, and we addressed those differences candidly.  But by moving forward in areas where we do agree, we have succeeding in resetting our relationship, which benefits regional and global security.  This includes, I would note, a change in the attitudes among the Russian people, who today have a far more favorable view of the United States, and that, in turn, creates more space for additional partnership.
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June 24, 2010
In particular, we’re expanding trade and commerce.  We agreed to deepen our collaboration on energy efficiency and clean energy technologies.  And this afternoon, President Medvedev and I will join American and Russian business leaders as they move forward with a series of major trade and investment deals that will create jobs for Americans and Russians across many sectors, from aerospace and automotive engineering to the financial sector and high technology.  Consistent with my administration’s National Export Initiative, this includes the sale of 50 Boeing aircraft -- worth $4 billion -- that could add up to 44,000 new jobs in the American aerospace industry.
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June 24, 2010
Those were the same hopes of another generation of Americans and Russians -- the generation that stood together as allies in the Second World War —- the Great Patriotic War in which the Russian people suffered and sacrificed so much.  We recently marked the 65th anniversary of our shared victory in that war, including that historic moment when American and Soviet troops came together in friendship at the Elbe River in Germany.
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June 24, 2010
That is the strategy that was put forward.  What we’ve also said is, is that in December of this year, a year after this strategy has been put in place, at a time when the additional troops have been in place and have begun implementing strategy, that we’ll conduct a review and we’ll make an assessment:  Is the strategy working?  Is it working in part?  Are there other aspects of it that aren’t working?  How is the coordination between civilian and military?  Are we doing enough to build Afghan security capacity?  How are we working effectively with our allies?
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June 24, 2010
And I very much appreciate the steady and consistent manner in which the President has approached these issues.  That’s part of what gives me confidence that we’re going to get this done and that this will just be one aspect of a broader strengthening of commercial ties, cross-border investment, and expanded opportunities and job creation both in the Russian Federation and in the United States.
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June 27, 2010
Q    Back here.  Thank you, .  One of the noneconomic issues you covered here was Afghanistan.  And I’m curious whether you believe that the talks that Pakistan is reportedly brokering between the Taliban and President Karzai of Afghanistan hold promise?  Or do they concern you?  And a related question -- not a second question -- is do you agree with the new Prime Minister of Great Britain, David Cameron -- David, to you -- that we can be totally out of Afghanistan by 2015 and turn the lights off?
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June 27, 2010
I’m not sure that's a quote from David, but I’ll take the second question first.  We have been in Afghanistan now for nine years.  Next year we will have been there for a decade.  This is now America’s longest war.  And what that means is that all of us have an interest not in occupying Afghanistan, but an interest in making sure Afghanistan is stable, can stand on its own two feet when it comes to security issues, and is not a base for terrorist activities launched against the United States of America.
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June 27, 2010
I think that conversations between the Afghan government and the Pakistani government, building trust between those two governments is a useful step.  I think to the extent that we can get all the regional players to recognize that it is in everybody’s interests that this region between Pakistan and Afghanistan are not used to launch terrorist attacks -- that will be a useful step.  And that's what we’re moving towards.
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June 27, 2010
Well, I don’t have a crystal ball.  I think that right now the debate surrounding Afghanistan is presented as either we get up and leave immediately because there’s no chance at a positive outcome, or we stay basically indefinitely and do “whatever it takes” for as long as it takes.  And what I said last year I will repeat, which is we have a vital national interest in making sure that Afghanistan is not used as a base to launch terrorist attacks.
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June 27, 2010
It is true that al Qaeda right now is in Pakistan.  And you’ll often hear, why are we in Afghanistan when the terrorists are in Pakistan?  Well, Al Qaeda is pinned down and has been weakened in part because they don’t have the run of the territory.  We would be less secure if you return to a situation that existed prior to 9/11, in which they had a government that was friendly to them and willing to house their operations.  And I don’t think anybody would dispute that.
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June 30, 2010
Some of these same folks want to maintain the status quo where we just rely on oil and other fossil fuels for all of our energy needs, even though we know that our dependence on these energy sources is a problem because they’re finite.  They’re going to run out, and that jeopardizes our national security and our prosperity and our planet.
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June 30, 2010
And in the past, there have been times, frankly, where we didn’t live up to that obligation.  I mean, Veterans Affairs is a great example.  When we came in, for all the talk about how we were going to take care of veterans, the truth was the backlogs were so bad and a lot of the facilities for veterans were just not up to snuff.  So we actually raised the Veterans Administration’s budget by 11 percent -- the biggest hike in 30 years -- just so we could catch up and start making sure that our veterans got the kind of care that they deserve. 
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June 30, 2010
Now, but what I may have been referring to is this.  When you look at a place like Afghanistan, or you look at a place like Iraq, so many of our military personnel are having to engage in work that really should be civilian work -- helping to build schools, helping to build bridges, helping to set up rule of law and courts, helping -- agricultural specialists to help people learn how to irrigate their fields so that they can grow more food.  And the problem is, is that we don’t have a civilian effort that has always matched up to the military efforts.
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June 30, 2010
Absolutely.  Well, you’ve just identified two things that we’re working on as we speak that are really critical.  The first is making sure that counseling support for our troops is there in theater as well as when they get back home.  And there has been in the past this sort of stigma around mental health issues.  But you know what, if you send somebody into a war zone, that’s going to be a shock on the system.  They may engage in enormous heroism, enormous courage -- our troops do just spectacular things, but it’s going to have an impact.  And when they’ve been on two tours or three tours or four tours sometimes, that impact adds up.
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June 30, 2010
The second point you’re making is there needs to be that rest in between deployments, and that’s part of the reason why we actually increased the number of Marines.  The Army and Marines have really borne the biggest burden in terms of these very quick and rapid and stressful deployments.  And what we’ve been saying is let’s start getting back to a point where there is ample time between deployments.
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July 20, 2010
Above all, our alliance thrives because it advances our common interests.  Whether it’s preventing the spread of nuclear weapons or securing vulnerable nuclear materials, thwarting terrorist attacks, or confronting climate change, or promoting global economic growth and development, when the United States and the United Kingdom stand together, our people —- and people around the world -- are more secure and they are more prosperous.
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July 20, 2010
Today’s historic Kabul Conference is another major step forward.  The Afghan government presented —- and its international partners unanimously endorsed —- concrete plans to implement President Karzai’s commitments to improve security, economic growth, governance, and the delivery of basic services. The Afghan government presented its peace and reconciliation plan —- which the United States firmly supports.  Agreement was reached on a plan in which responsibility for security in Afghan provinces will transition to Afghan security forces.  In addition, Afghanistan and Pakistan reached a historic agreement to increase economic opportunity for people on both sides of the border.
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July 20, 2010
But what you -- what you said, Barack, though, about British and America soldiers fighting together, sometimes dying together, serving together, is absolutely right.  And we should never forget that -- whether it’s on the beaches of Normandy, whether it’s in Korea, whether in Iraq, or whether now in Afghanistan.
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July 20, 2010
We had a brief discussion about the fact that although there may still be efforts to send in spies and try to obtain state secrets through traditional Cold War methods, the truth of the matter is these days, where we’re going to see enormous vulnerability when it comes to information is going to be through these kind of breaches in our information systems.  So we take this very seriously.  And I know that the British government does, as well.
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July 22, 2010
We’ve drafted a budget for next year that freezes all discretionary government spending outside of national security for three years, a budget, by the way, that would reduce this spending -- non-defense discretionary spending -- to its lowest level as a share of the economy in 50 years. This isn’t talked about a lot so I’m going to repeat it. Our budget would take non-security defense -- or non-defense spending to its lowest level since JFK -- lowest level as a percentage of the economy since JFK.
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July 26, 2010
Now, that’s not to say it was easy. You didn’t always have folks in Washington to fight on your behalf. And when you did, they weren’t as powerful, as well-connected, as well-funded as the lobbyists who lined up to kill any attempt at change. And at first, you might have thought, what does anyone in Washington know or care about my battle? But what you knew from your own experience is that disability touches us all. If one in six Americans has a disability, then odds are the rest of us love somebody with a disability.
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July 26, 2010
Senators like Tom Harkin, who’s here today, and who signed -- who signed part of a speech on the ADA so his deaf brother, Frank, would understand. And Ted Kennedy, whose sister had a severe intellectual disability and whose son lost a leg to cancer. And Bob Dole, who was wounded serving heroically in World War II. Senior officials in the White House, and even the President himself.
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July 27, 2010
That’s why we’ve substantially increased our commitment there, insisted upon greater accountability from our partners in Afghanistan and Pakistan, developed a new strategy that can work, and put in place a team, including one of our finest generals, to execute that plan.  Now we have to see that strategy through.   And as I told the leaders, I hope the House will act today to join the Senate, which voted unanimously in favor of this funding, to ensure that our troops have the resources they need and that we’re able to do what’s necessary for our national security.
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July 30, 2010
And along with creating these new products, we’ve also started to say, well, why don’t we make the advanced batteries that go into the Volt right here in the United States of America?    So we were making 2 percent of the advanced batteries right here in the United States.  By 2015, in five years, we will have 40 percent of the market in advanced batteries right here in the United States of America being made by American workers. 
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August 14, 2010
Under the leadership of Admiral Allen, the Coast Guard, along with other federal agencies and state and local governments, has directed the largest response to an environmental disaster in American history.  The response has included more than 7,000 vessels, and more than 47,000 people on the ground.  And I know that two cutters -- the Aspen and the Juniper -- are here in port this week, after tours skimming and performing other recovery work.  As I said before, many of the folks here have toiled day and night, spending weeks, even months, away from their families to stop the leak, remove the oil, and protect waters and coastline.  So I want to thank all those who continue to participate in this effort.
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August 17, 2010
When I was in the Senate, I sat next to Patty on the Veterans Affairs Committee.  And I can tell you there is no fiercer advocate for our veterans than Patty Murray.  Nobody.    Whether it was keeping three VA hospitals open here in Washington, or helping a World War II veteran break through the bureaucracy so he could receive his Purple Heart, no problem is too big, no problem is too small for Patty to fight for you.
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August 17, 2010
If we did not tackle energy now, then we don’t know what this view will look like 50 years from now, or 70 years from now, or maybe even 20 years from now, because of the impact it has on the environment.  But we also don’t know what kind of impact the next crisis in terms of oil supplies might have on our economy or our national security.
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August 17, 2010
We decided that it was time for us to make sure that even as we’re sending young men and women to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, that we’ve got to make sure that we’re doing right by our veterans.  And nobody has been a fiercer advocate on behalf of veterans than Patty Murray.  And with her help, we saw the largest increase in funding for veterans in at least 30 years.    And we helped to pass a post-9/11 GI Bill.
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August 29, 2010
In Washington, we are restoring competence and accountability.  I am proud that my FEMA Director, Craig Fugate, has 25 years of experience in disaster management in Florida.    He came from Florida, a state that has known its share of hurricanes.  We’ve put together a group led by Secretary Donovan and Secretary Napolitano to look at disaster recovery across the country.  We’re improving coordination on the ground, and modernizing emergency communications, helping families plan for a crisis.  And we’re putting in place reforms so that never again in America is somebody left behind in a disaster because they’re living with a disability or because they’re elderly or because they’re infirmed.  That will not happen again. 
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August 31, 2010
The Americans who have served in Iraq completed every mission they were given.  They defeated a regime that had terrorized its people.  Together with Iraqis and coalition partners who made huge sacrifices of their own, our troops fought block by block to help Iraq seize the chance for a better future.  They shifted tactics to protect the Iraqi people, trained Iraqi Security Forces, and took out terrorist leaders.  Because of our troops and civilians -- and because of the resilience of the Iraqi people -- Iraq has the opportunity to embrace a new destiny, even though many challenges remain.
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August 31, 2010
This completes a transition to Iraqi responsibility for their own security.  U.S. troops pulled out of Iraq’s cities last summer, and Iraqi forces have moved into the lead with considerable skill and commitment to their fellow citizens.  Even as Iraq continues to suffer terrorist attacks, security incidents have been near the lowest on record since the war began.  And Iraqi forces have taken the fight to al Qaeda, removing much of its leadership in Iraqi-led operations.
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August 31, 2010
Ending this war is not only in Iraq’s interest -- it’s in our own.  The United States has paid a huge price to put the future of Iraq in the hands of its people.  We have sent our young men and women to make enormous sacrifices in Iraq, and spent vast resources abroad at a time of tight budgets at home.  We’ve persevered because of a belief we share with the Iraqi people -- a belief that out of the ashes of war, a new beginning could be born in this cradle of civilization.  Through this remarkable chapter in the history of the United States and Iraq, we have met our responsibility.  Now, it’s time to turn the page.
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August 31, 2010
Within Afghanistan, I’ve ordered the deployment of additional troops who -- under the command of General David Petraeus -- are fighting to break the Taliban’s momentum.  As with the surge in Iraq, these forces will be in place for a limited time to provide space for the Afghans to build their capacity and secure their own future.  But, as was the case in Iraq, we can’t do for Afghans what they must ultimately do for themselves.  That’s why we’re training Afghan Security Forces and supporting a political resolution to Afghanistan’s problems.  And next August, we will begin a transition to Afghan responsibility.  The pace of our troop reductions will be determined by conditions on the ground, and our support for Afghanistan will endure.  But make no mistake:  This transition will begin -- because open-ended war serves neither our interests nor the Afghan people’s.
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August 31, 2010
Part of that responsibility is making sure that we honor our commitments to those who have served our country with such valor.  As long as I am President, we will maintain the finest fighting force that the world has ever known, and we will do whatever it takes to serve our veterans as well as they have served us.  This is a sacred trust.  That’s why we’ve already made one of the largest increases in funding for veterans in decades.  We’re treating the signature wounds of today’s wars -- post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury -- while providing the health care and benefits that all of our veterans have earned.  And we’re funding a Post-9/11 GI Bill that helps our veterans and their families pursue the dream of a college education.  Just as the GI Bill helped those who fought World War II -- including my grandfather -- become the backbone of our middle class, so today’s servicemen and women must have the chance to apply their gifts to expand the American economy.  Because part of ending a war responsibly is standing by those who have fought it.
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August 31, 2010
Of course, the soldiers left much behind.  Some were teenagers when the war began.  Many have served multiple tours of duty, far from families who bore a heroic burden of their own, enduring the absence of a husband’s embrace or a mother’s kiss.  Most painfully, since the war began, 55 members of the Fourth Stryker Brigade made the ultimate sacrifice -- part of over 4,400 Americans who have given their lives in Iraq.  As one staff sergeant said, “I know that to my brothers in arms who fought and died, this day would probably mean a lot.”
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August 31, 2010
Those Americans gave their lives for the values that have lived in the hearts of our people for over two centuries.  Along with nearly 1.5 million Americans who have served in Iraq, they fought in a faraway place for people they never knew.  They stared into the darkest of human creations -- war -- and helped the Iraqi people seek the light of peace.
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September 23, 2010
While drawing down in Iraq, we have refocused on defeating al Qaeda and denying its affiliates a safe haven.  In Afghanistan, the United States and our allies are pursuing a strategy to break the Taliban’s momentum and build the capacity of Afghanistan’s government and security forces, so that a transition to Afghan responsibility can begin next July.  And from South Asia to the Horn of Africa, we are moving toward a more targeted approach -- one that strengthens our partners and dismantles terrorist networks without deploying large American armies.
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September 23, 2010
The idea is a simple one -- that freedom, justice and peace for the world must begin with freedom, justice, and peace in the lives of individual human beings.  And for the United States, this is a matter of moral and pragmatic necessity.  As Robert Kennedy said, “the individual man, the child of God, is the touchstone of value, and all society, groups, the state, exist for his benefit.”  So we stand up for universal values because it’s the right thing to do.  But we also know from experience that those who defend these values for their people have been our closest friends and allies, while those who have denied those rights -- whether terrorist groups or tyrannical governments -- have chosen to be our adversaries.
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September 23, 2010
Civil society is the conscience of our communities and America will always extend our engagement abroad with citizens beyond the halls of government.  And we will call out those who suppress ideas and serve as a voice for those who are voiceless.  We will promote new tools of communication so people are empowered to connect with one another and, in repressive societies, to do so with security.  We will support a free and open Internet, so individuals have the information to make up their own minds.  And it is time to embrace and effectively monitor norms that advance the rights of civil society and guarantee its expansion within and across borders.
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September 28, 2010
Well, let me -- first of all, you don’t have to apologize for being emotional about your dad who served our country as a Marine, man. That’s -- I get emotional when I think about our young men and women and our veterans who have served this country with such bravery and courage. We have a sacred trust for people who put on the uniform of the United States. They serve us. They’re willing to put their lives on the line. And that means that when they come back, we’ve got to serve them.
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September 28, 2010
Now, here’s the good news. First of all, I’ve got what I think is one of the finest, if not the finest, Secretaries of Veterans Affairs ever, General Ric Shinseki, who himself is a disabled veteran. And this guy just thinks day and night about how are we going to make sure that veterans services are provided in a timely, effective, respectful fashion, all right? So that’s point number one.
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September 28, 2010
And the reason we did it was because a lot of VA facilities had gotten outdated. The backlog in terms of folks trying to get medical services or getting their claims processed had just gotten ridiculous. You had over a million young people who had served in Iraq and now Afghanistan who had come back and they’ve got new problems like -- well, they’re not new problems but now we’re much more effective at diagnosing post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury -- they weren’t getting services. We’ve got women who are now serving in a much more dangerous situation in a lot of these theaters, and yet a lot of VA facilities still did not have special services for women and their special needs as they return.
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September 29, 2010
As you know, because it was a big issue when I was campaigning here in Iowa, I was opposed to the war in Iraq from the start.  I made a commitment that I would bring that war to a responsible end.  We have now ended our combat mission in Iraq and we’ve pulled out 100,000 troops out of Iraq since I was in office.    So that’s a commitment we’ve followed up on.
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September 29, 2010
Now, Afghanistan was a war that most people right after 9/11 I think overwhelmingly understood was important and necessary.  We had to go after those who had killed 3,000 Americans.  We had to make sure that al Qaeda did not have a safe haven inside Afghanistan to plan more attacks.  And you can speculate as to whether if we hadn’t gone into Iraq, we had just stayed focused on Afghanistan, whether by now we would have created a stable situation and we would not have a significant presence there.  But that’s not what happened.
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September 29, 2010
So we’re not going to get it perfect there.  It is messy, it is hard, and the toughest job I have is when I deploy young men and women into a war theater because some of them don’t come back, and I’m the one who signs those letters to family members offering condolences for the enormous sacrifice of their loved ones.
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October 23, 2010
Because of what you did, there are 100,000 young men and women who’ve come home from Iraq, no longer involved in a combat mission.    And because of what you did, when those 100,000 come home, they’re getting the treatment they need, they’re getting the benefits that they deserve.  They got a post-9/11 G.I. Bill that they can count on so that they can be part of this latest and greatest generation, and help grown and expand and build our middle class.
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November 16, 2010
Of all the privileges that come with serving as President of the United States, I have none greater than serving as Commander-in-Chief of the finest military that the world has ever known.  And of all the military decorations that a President and a nation can bestow, there is none higher than the Medal of Honor.
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November 16, 2010
Today is particularly special.  Since the end of the Vietnam War, the Medal of Honor has been awarded nine times for conspicuous gallantry in an ongoing or recent conflict.  Sadly, our nation has been unable to present this decoration to the recipients themselves, because each gave his life -- his last full measure of devotion -- for our country.  Indeed, as President, I have presented the Medal of Honor three times -- and each time to the families of a fallen hero.
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November 16, 2010
Today, therefore, marks the first time in nearly 40 years that the recipient of the Medal of Honor for an ongoing conflict has been able to come to the White House and accept this recognition in person.  It is my privilege to present our nation’s highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor, to a soldier as humble as he is heroic: Staff Sergeant Salvatore A. Giunta.
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November 16, 2010
As another soldier tended to his wounds, Sal sprinted ahead, at every step meeting relentless enemy fire with his own.  He crested a hill alone, with no cover but the dust kicked up by the storm of bullets still biting into the ground.  There, he saw a chilling sight:  the silhouettes of two insurgents carrying the other wounded American away -- who happened to be one of Sal’s best friends.  Sal never broke stride.  He leapt forward.  He took aim.  He killed one of the insurgents and wounded the other, who ran off.
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November 16, 2010
It had been as intense and violent a firefight as any soldier will experience.  By the time it was finished, every member of First Platoon had shrapnel or a bullet hole in their gear.  Five were wounded.  And two gave their lives:  Sal’s friend, Sergeant Joshua C. Brennan, and the platoon medic, Specialist Hugo V. Mendoza.
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November 16, 2010
Staff Sergeant Giunta, repeatedly and without hesitation, you charged forward through extreme enemy fire, embodying the warrior ethos that says, “I will never leave a fallen comrade.”  Your actions disrupted a devastating ambush before it could claim more lives.  Your courage prevented the capture of an American soldier and brought that soldier back to his family.  You may believe that you don’t deserve this honor, but it was your fellow soldiers who recommended you for it.  In fact, your commander specifically said in his recommendation that you lived up to the standards of the most decorated American soldier of World War II, Audie Murphy, who famously repelled an overwhelming enemy attack by himself for one simple reason:  “They were killing my friends.”
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November 16, 2010
Attempting to reach additional wounded fellow soldiers who were separated from the squad, Specialist Giunta and his team encountered a barrage of enemy fire that forced them to the ground.  The team continued forward, and upon reaching the wounded soldiers, Specialist Giunta realized that another soldier was still separated from the element.  Specialist Giunta then advanced forward on his own initiative.  As he crested the top of a hill, he observed two insurgents carrying away an American soldier.  He immediately engaged the enemy, killing one and wounding the other.  Upon reaching the wounded soldier, he began to provide medical aid, as his squad caught up and provided security.
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November 18, 2010
So the key point here is this is not about politics -– it’s about national security.  This is not a matter that can be delayed.  Every month that goes by without a treaty means that we are not able to verify what’s going on on the ground in Russia.  And if we delay indefinitely, American leadership on nonproliferation and America’s national security will be weakened.
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November 18, 2010
Now, as Senator Reid said yesterday, there is time on the Senate calendar to get this treaty ratified this year.  So I’ve asked Vice President Biden to focus on this issue day and night until it gets done.  It’s important to our national security to let this treaty go up for a vote.  I’m confident that it’s the right thing to do.  The people around this table think it’s the right thing to do.
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November 19, 2010
We head into tomorrow’s meeting with an alliance that is fully aligned in its vision and approach to collective security for the 21st century.  After a year of discussions -- and sometimes debate -- the new Strategic Concept that we are embracing shows that NATO is fully united about the way forward and committing to addressing the full range of security challenges of this century.
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November 19, 2010
That’s why I’m pleased to announce that -- for the first time -- we’ve agreed to develop missile defense capability that is strong enough to cover all NATO European territory and populations, as well as the United States.  This important step forward builds on the new phased adaptive approach to missile defense that I announced for the United States last year.  It offers a role for all of our allies.  It responds to the threats of our times.  It shows our determination to protect our citizens from the threat of ballistic missiles.  And tomorrow, we look forward to working with Russia to build our cooperation with them in this area as well, recognizing that we share many of the same threats.
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November 19, 2010
Under the leadership of Secretary General Rasmussen, I’m also pleased that we’re looking at the full range of capabilities that we need to secure our people -- from more deployable capabilities, to new measures to deal with new threats like improvised explosives, to the cyber defenses that will be so essential in the years to come.
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November 24, 2010
Back then, the simple act of survival was often the greatest blessing of all.  And later, President Lincoln declared the first national day of Thanksgiving in the midst of the Civil War.  During the depths of the Great Depression, local businesses gave donations and charities opened their doors to families who didn’t have a place to celebrate Thanksgiving.  In times of war, our military has gone through great lengths to give our men and women on the front lines a turkey dinner and a taste of home.
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November 24, 2010
That’s who we are.  And that’s who Thanksgiving reminds us to be.  So I hope everyone takes some time during this holiday season to give back and serve their community in some way.  And I also want to take a moment to say how grateful I am to the men and women who are serving this country bravely and selflessly in places far away from home right now.  You and your families are in our thoughts and in our prayers, and you make me so very proud to be your Commander-in-Chief.
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December 13, 2010
This is the conviction that animates his work in Afghanistan and Pakistan —- and that of his SRAP team, many of whom join us tonight.  Where are they?  There they are back there.    Richard recruited them.  He mentored them.  And I want you to know that in our meetings he consistently gave you guys unbelievable credit.  He was so proud -- and is so proud -- of the work that you do.  And I thank you for all the progress that we're making in that region, which is so vital to our national security.
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December 22, 2010
Sixty-six years ago, in the dense, snow-covered forests of Western Europe, Allied Forces were beating back a massive assault in what would become known as the Battle of the Bulge.  And in the final days of fighting, a regiment in the 80th Division of Patton’s Third Army came under fire.  The men were traveling along a narrow trail.  They were exposed and they were vulnerable.  Hundreds of soldiers were cut down by the enemy.
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December 22, 2010
No longer will our country be denied the service of thousands of patriotic Americans who were forced to leave the military -– regardless of their skills, no matter their bravery or their zeal, no matter their years of exemplary performance -– because they happen to be gay.  No longer will tens of thousands of Americans in uniform be asked to live a lie, or look over their shoulder, in order to serve the country that they love. 
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December 22, 2010
And finally, I want to express my gratitude to the men and women in this room who have worn the uniform of the United States Armed Services.    I want to thank all the patriots who are here today, all of them who were forced to hang up their uniforms as a result of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” -- but who never stopped fighting for this country, and who rallied and who marched and fought for change.  I want to thank everyone here who stood with them in that fight.
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December 22, 2010
And so, as the first generation to serve openly in our Armed Forces, you will stand for all those who came before you, and you will serve as role models to all who come after.  And I know that you will fulfill this responsibility with integrity and honor, just as you have every other mission with which you’ve been charged.
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December 22, 2010
And you need to look no further than the servicemen and women in this room -- distinguished officers like former Navy Commander Zoe Dunning.    Marines like Eric Alva, one of the first Americans to be injured in Iraq.    Leaders like Captain Jonathan Hopkins, who led a platoon into northern Iraq during the initial invasion, quelling an ethnic riot, earning a Bronze Star with valor.    He was discharged, only to receive emails and letters from his soldiers saying they had known he was gay all along -- and thought that he was the best commander they ever had. 
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December 22, 2010
For we are not a nation that says, “don’t ask, don’t tell.” We are a nation that says, “Out of many, we are one.”    We are a nation that welcomes the service of every patriot.  We are a nation that believes that all men and women are created equal.    Those are the ideals that generations have fought for.  Those are the ideals that we uphold today.  And now, it is my honor to sign this bill into law. 
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December 22, 2010
This fulfills an important campaign promise the President and I made, and many here on this stage made, and many of you have fought for, for a long time, in repealing a policy that actually weakens our national security, diminished our ability to have military readiness, and violates the fundamental American principle of fairness and equality -- that exact same set of principles that brave gay men and women will now be able to openly defend around the world. 
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January 14, 2011
In 1962, when he was just 22 years old, he set out for Vietnam as a Foreign Service Officer.  He could not have known the twists and turns that lay ahead of him and his country in that war, or the road that he would travel over nearly five decades of service to his country.  But it’s no coincidence that his life story so closely paralleled the major events of his times.
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January 25, 2011
Look to Iraq, where nearly 100,000 of our brave men and women have left with their heads held high.    American combat patrols have ended, violence is down, and a new government has been formed.  This year, our civilians will forge a lasting partnership with the Iraqi people, while we finish the job of bringing our troops out of Iraq.  America’s commitment has been kept.  The Iraq war is coming to an end. 
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January 25, 2011
Of course, as we speak, al Qaeda and their affiliates continue to plan attacks against us.  Thanks to our intelligence and law enforcement professionals, we’re disrupting plots and securing our cities and skies.  And as extremists try to inspire acts of violence within our borders, we are responding with the strength of our communities, with respect for the rule of law, and with the conviction that American Muslims are a part of our American family. 
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January 25, 2011
Thanks to our heroic troops and civilians, fewer Afghans are under the control of the insurgency.  There will be tough fighting ahead, and the Afghan government will need to deliver better governance.  But we are strengthening the capacity of the Afghan people and building an enduring partnership with them.  This year, we will work with nearly 50 countries to begin a transition to an Afghan lead.  And this July, we will begin to bring our troops home. 
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January 25, 2011
This is just a part of how we’re shaping a world that favors peace and prosperity.  With our European allies, we revitalized NATO and increased our cooperation on everything from counterterrorism to missile defense.  We’ve reset our relationship with Russia, strengthened Asian alliances, built new partnerships with nations like India.
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January 25, 2011
Tonight, let us speak with one voice in reaffirming that our nation is united in support of our troops and their families.  Let us serve them as well as they’ve served us -- by giving them the equipment they need, by providing them with the care and benefits that they have earned, and by enlisting our veterans in the great task of building our own nation.
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February 14, 2011
What does it feel like to be the President? You know, some days -- some days you're burdened by some really tough decisions.  Some of you may have family members who are in Afghanistan, for example.  And I'm the Commander-in-Chief, and so I'm responsible for sending those young men and women over, who are doing an amazing job.  Some of them get hurt.  Some of them get killed.  And so you feel a responsibility that is profound about making that decision.  Even though you think it’s the best thing to do for the country, it’s one that carries an unbelievable cost.
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February 15, 2011
The Honorable George Herbert Walker Bush.    From his time as a decorated Navy pilot to his years in the White House as the 41st President of the United States, President George Herbert Walker Bush has led a life marked by a profound commitment to serving others.  As President, he upheld the American value of liberty during a time of renewal and promise.  As a private citizen, he has united Americans in times of crisis, lending his tireless efforts to men and women whose lives have been upended by disaster.  Over the arc of his life, President Bush has served our nation as a tremendous force for good, and we proudly salute him for his unwavering devotion to our country and our world.
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February 22, 2011
Kent State University is an integral part of the Flex Matters cluster.  And one of the first spinoffs from their Liquid Crystal Institute was Albert’s company.  Kent Displays researches, develops and manufactures flexible liquid crystal displays from a state-of-the-art production line in Kent, and it’s the first of its kind in the world.  So Dr. Green says, “We’re turning the tables, manufacturing a high-tech product right here in Ohio and selling it in the United States and selling it abroad.”  So he almost doubled his staff last year, and wants to keep his manufacturing base right here in Ohio.  But to keep up with global competition, he’s got to be able to invest in new technology, and he’s got to draw on a highly skilled local workforce, and he’s got to sell his products around the world easily.  So he participated today in the exports session today with Gary Locke, our Secretary of Commerce, and he also joined a trade mission to India.  And everywhere they went people were asking:  Are your products made in America?  The world wants American goods.  And my administration is going to go to bat for America’s businesses around the world.  You should know that. 
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February 23, 2011
Good afternoon, everybody. Secretary Clinton and I just concluded a meeting that focused on the ongoing situation in Libya. Over the last few days, my national security team has been working around the clock to monitor the situation there and to coordinate with our international partners about a way forward.
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February 23, 2011
First, we are doing everything we can to protect American citizens. That is my highest priority. In Libya, we've urged our people to leave the country and the State Department is assisting those in need of support. Meanwhile, I think all Americans should give thanks to the heroic work that's being done by our foreign service officers and the men and women serving in our embassies and consulates around the world. They represent the very best of our country and its values.
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February 23, 2011
This is not simply a concern of the United States. The entire world is watching, and we will coordinate our assistance and accountability measures with the international community. To that end, Secretary Clinton and I have asked Bill Burns, our Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, to make several stops in Europe and the region to intensify our consultations with allies and partners about the situation in Libya.
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March 19, 2011
As a part of this effort, the United States will contribute our unique capabilities at the front end of the mission to protect Libyan civilians, and enable the enforcement of a no-fly zone that will be led by our international partners.  And as I said yesterday, we will not -- I repeat -- we will not deploy any U.S. troops on the ground.
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March 20, 2011
The United States was the first nation to recognize Brazil’s independence, and set up a diplomatic outpost in this country.  The first head of state to visit the United States was the leader of Brazil, Dom Pedro II.  In the Second World War, our brave men and women fought side-by-side for freedom.  And after the war, both of our nations struggled to achieve the full blessings of liberty.
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March 21, 2011
Under President Pinera’s leadership, Chile is taking a new step today.  , I want to thank you for offering to share Chile’s security expertise with Central American nations as they fight back against criminal gangs and narco-traffickers.  I’m also pleased that our two governments will be working together to promote development in the Americas.
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March 21, 2011
And in the face of that, the international community rallied and said we have to stop any potential atrocities inside of Libya, and provided a broad mandate to accomplish that specific task.  As part of that international coalition, I authorized the United States military to work with our international partners to fulfill that mandate.
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March 21, 2011
Latin America is coming together to address shared challenges.  Chile, Colombia and Mexico are sharing their expertise in security with nations in Central America.  When a coup in Honduras threatened democratic progress, the nations of the hemisphere unanimously invoked the Inter-American Democratic Charter, helping to lay the foundation for the return to the rule of law.  The contributions of Latin American countries have been critical in Haiti, as has Latin American diplomacy in the lead up to yesterday’s election in Haiti.
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March 21, 2011
I believe that in the Americas today, there are no senior partners and there are no junior partners, there are only equal partners.  Of course, equal partnerships, in turn, demands a sense of shared responsibility.  We have obligations to each other.  And today, the United States is working with the nations of this hemisphere to meet our responsibilities in several key areas.
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March 21, 2011
First, we’re partnering to address the concerns that people across the Americas say they worry about the most -- and that's the security of their families and communities.  Criminal gangs and narco-traffickers are not only a threat to the security of our citizens.  They’re a threat to development, because they scare away investment that economies need to prosper.  And they are a direct threat to democracy, because they fuel the corruption that rots institutions from within.
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March 21, 2011
So with our partners from Colombia to Mexico and new regional initiatives in Central America and the Caribbean, we’re confronting this challenge, together, from every direction.  We’ve increased our support -- the equipment, training and technologies -- that security forces, border security and police need to keep communities safe.  We’re improving coordination and sharing more information so that those who traffic in drugs and in human beings have fewer places to hide.  And we’re putting unprecedented pressure on cartel finances, including in the United States.
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March 21, 2011
As the nations of Central American develop a new regional security strategy, the United States stands ready to do our part through a new partnership that puts the focus where it should be -- on the security of citizens.  And with regional and international partners, we’ll make sure our support is not just well-intentioned, but is well-coordinated and well-spent.
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March 22, 2011
The military action that we moved forward on, in conjunction with our international partners, was defined by the U.N. Security Council resolution that said we have a humanitarian threat and we need to deal with that humanitarian threat quickly, in part through a no-fly zone, in part by ensuring that humanitarian assistance can get into places that need it.  And what we’ve done is to create the space for that to happen.
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March 22, 2011
We need to place things in context.  What’s fundamental in my opinion in this Partnership for Growth is that the different visions at the foundation of this initiative that is driven by the government of President Obama.  It’s not the traditional way of looking at the region from the perspective of the donor that looks at the receiver as that -- as a mere receiver or beneficiary of the same.  And I said this to President Obama -- I cannot go to the United States or any other country of the world to knock on the doors of the national banking system or the doors of the USAID or any other cooperation agency of the United States in order to ask for either more credit or more nonreversible cooperation funds without making a domestic effort that has not taken place in the past and that we cannot delay much further.
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March 28, 2011
For generations, the United States of America has played a unique role as an anchor of global security and as an advocate for human freedom.  Mindful of the risks and costs of military action, we are naturally reluctant to use force to solve the world’s many challenges.  But when our interests and values are at stake, we have a responsibility to act.  That’s what happened in Libya over the course of these last six weeks.
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March 28, 2011
In the face of the world’s condemnation, Qaddafi chose to escalate his attacks, launching a military campaign against the Libyan people.  Innocent people were targeted for killing. Hospitals and ambulances were attacked.  Journalists were arrested, sexually assaulted, and killed.  Supplies of food and fuel were choked off.  Water for hundreds of thousands of people in Misurata was shut off.  Cities and towns were shelled, mosques were destroyed, and apartment buildings reduced to rubble.  Military jets and helicopter gunships were unleashed upon people who had no means to defend themselves against assaults from the air.
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March 28, 2011
We struck regime forces approaching Benghazi to save that city and the people within it.  We hit Qaddafi’s troops in neighboring Ajdabiya, allowing the opposition to drive them out. We hit Qaddafi’s air defenses, which paved the way for a no-fly zone.  We targeted tanks and military assets that had been choking off towns and cities, and we cut off much of their source of supply.  And tonight, I can report that we have stopped Qaddafi’s deadly advance.
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March 28, 2011
To summarize, then:  In just one month, the United States has worked with our international partners to mobilize a broad coalition, secure an international mandate to protect civilians, stop an advancing army, prevent a massacre, and establish a no-fly zone with our allies and partners.  To lend some perspective on how rapidly this military and diplomatic response came together, when people were being brutalized in Bosnia in the 1990s, it took the international community more than a year to intervene with air power to protect civilians.  It took us 31 days.
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March 28, 2011
In that effort, the United States will play a supporting role -- including intelligence, logistical support, search and rescue assistance, and capabilities to jam regime communications. Because of this transition to a broader, NATO-based coalition, the risk and cost of this operation -- to our military and to American taxpayers -- will be reduced significantly.
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March 28, 2011
To be blunt, we went down that road in Iraq.  Thanks to the extraordinary sacrifices of our troops and the determination of our diplomats, we are hopeful about Iraq’s future.  But regime change there took eight years, thousands of American and Iraqi lives, and nearly a trillion dollars.  That is not something we can afford to repeat in Libya.
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April 19, 2011
But finding savings in our domestic spending only gets you so far. We’re also going to have to find savings in places like the defense budget. As your Commander-in-Chief, I will not cut a penny if it undermines our national security. But over the last two years, the Secretary of Defense Bob Gates has taken on wasteful spending that doesn’t protect our troops, doesn’t protect our nation -- old weapons systems, for example, that the Pentagon doesn’t want, but Congress sometimes keeps on stuffing into the budget. Well-connected special interests get these programs stuck in the budget even though the Pentagon says we don’t need these particular weapons systems.
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April 20, 2011
So their notion is, despite the fact that I’ve benefited from all these investments -- my grandfather benefited from the GI Bill after he fought in World War II -- that somehow I now have no obligation to people who are less fortunate than me and I have no real obligation to future generations to make investments so that they have a better.
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April 21, 2011
But you all know that there’s a lot more that can be done. With it comes to enforcement of those laws.  Yes, we overturned “don’t ask, don’t tell,” but we still have more work to do to make sure this country is fully equal and treats everybody with dignity and respect.    We’ve got more work to do.  We removed 100,000 troops from Iraq and ended combat missions there like I promised we would.    But we’ve still got more work to do to make ourselves secure and bring our troops home.
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April 27, 2011
Hello, everybody.  Now, let me just comment, first of all, on the fact that I can't get the networks to break in on all kinds of other discussions -- (laughter.)  I was just back there listening to Chuck -- he was saying, it’s amazing that he’s not going to be talking about national security.  I would not have the networks breaking in if I was talking about that, Chuck, and you know it.
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April 28, 2011
Over the past two years my administration has done whatever it takes to meet these responsibilities.  We’ve been relentless against al Qaeda and its affiliates, preventing terrorist attacks and saving lives.  We brought nearly 100,000 troops out of Iraq in an orderly way.  We ended our combat mission.  And we refocused on Afghanistan where we’re breaking the Taliban’s momentum and training Afghan forces.  And from Europe to Asia, we’ve strengthened old alliances, forged new partnerships, and restored American leadership in the world.
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April 28, 2011
I’ll have more to say about Secretary Gates’ exemplary service in the days to come, but today every American must know that because he helped to responsibly wind down the war in Iraq, we’re in a better position to support our troops and manage the transition in Afghanistan.  Because he challenged conventional thinking, our troops have the lifesaving equipment they need, and our military is better prepared for today’s wars.  And because he courageously cut unnecessary spending, we’ll save hundreds of billions of dollars that can be invested in the 21st-century military that our troops deserve.
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April 28, 2011
As a battle-tested combat leader in Iraq, he helped turn the tide in Anbar province.  As deputy commander of Central Command, he’s respected in the region and has been deeply involved in planning and executing our strategy in Afghanistan.  As our troops continue to sacrifice for our security -- as we tragically saw again yesterday -- General Allen is the right commander for this vital mission.
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April 28, 2011
I urge our friends in the Senate to confirm these individuals as swiftly as possible so they can assume their duties and help meet the urgent challenges we confront as a nation.  We are a nation still at war.  And joined by the leaders alongside me today, I will continue to do everything in my power as Commander-in-Chief to keep our nation strong and the American people safe.
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April 28, 2011
And speaking of the CIA, I also wanted to deeply thank the good men and women of the CIA for all they do without recognition or credit to safeguard this nation and protect it.  They welcomed me to their ranks, and it has been the highest honor of my professional career to be able to lead them, and I only wish that all Americans could see -- as I have -- how vital their work is in protecting our national security.
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April 28, 2011
During the flight back to Afghanistan, I will also reflect on the extraordinary leadership that Secretary Gates has provided over the past four and a half years at the helm of the Department of Defense.  I believe that all in uniform are deeply grateful to him, but none can be more grateful to him than I am.
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April 28, 2011
I cannot think of a group of individuals better suited to lead our national security team during this difficult time.  While I’m up here, I think it’s important to acknowledge the extraordinary work that my Vice President and my Secretary of State and my National Security Advisor have done as well.  This is going to be an outstanding team.  I’m grateful for the service that they’ve already provided, and I’m confident that they will continue to do everything that they can to ensure America’s safety and security -- not just today but tomorrow.
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May 22, 2011
America’s commitment to Israel’s security flows from a deeper place -- and that’s the values we share.  As two people who struggled to win our freedom against overwhelming odds, we understand that preserving the security for which our forefathers -- and foremothers -- fought must be the work of every generation.  As two vibrant democracies, we recognize that the liberties and freedoms we cherish must be constantly nurtured.  And as the nation that recognized the State of Israel moments after its independence, we have a profound commitment to its survival as a strong, secure homeland for the Jewish people. 
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May 22, 2011
Because we understand the challenges Israel faces, I and my administration have made the security of Israel a priority.  It’s why we’ve increased cooperation between our militaries to unprecedented levels.  It’s why we’re making our most advanced technologies available to our Israeli allies.    It’s why, despite tough fiscal times, we’ve increased foreign military financing to record levels.    And that includes additional support –- beyond regular military aid -– for the Iron Dome anti-rocket system.    A powerful example of American-Israeli cooperation -- a powerful example of American-Israeli cooperation which has already intercepted rockets from Gaza and helped saved Israeli lives.  So make no mistake, we will maintain Israel’s qualitative military edge. 
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May 22, 2011
I said that the United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine.  The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps -- so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.    As for security, every state has the right to self-defense, and Israel must be able to defend itself –- by itself -– against any threat.    Provisions must also be robust enough to prevent a resurgence of terrorism, to stop the infiltration of weapons, and to provide effective border security.    And a full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces should be coordinated with the assumption of Palestinian security responsibility in a sovereign and non-militarized state.    And the duration of this transition period must be agreed, and the effectiveness of security arrangements must be demonstrated. 
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May 24, 2011
As we appreciate the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I’m particularly grateful for the solidarity that the United Kingdom has shown to America over the past decade.  From that day to this, you have been our closest partner in the struggle to protect our people from terrorist attacks and violent extremism around the world, despite very heavy sacrifices here.  And allow me to pay tribute to the contributions of your military forces, which have stood shoulder to shoulder with us for decades.
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May 24, 2011
These storms often strike without warning, as we saw a little further south over the last couple of weeks. And it’s going to be important for us to make sure that we are sustaining our efforts at rebuilding after the news cameras leave. We can make sure that the families and communities upended by these storms have everything they need to pull through. And in that regard, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano as well as I have spoken with Missouri Governor Jay Nixon. We’ve offered him not only our condolences, but we’ve told him that we will give him every ounce of resources the federal government may have that we can bring to bear on this situation.
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May 25, 2011
During our discussions today we reviewed our progress in Afghanistan, where our brave servicemen and women have fought side by side to break the Taliban’s momentum and where we are preparing to turn a corner.  We reaffirmed the importance of beginning the transition to Afghan lead for security this year and completing that transition by 2014.
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May 25, 2011
Today, before we came here, Michelle and I joined David and Samantha for a outstanding barbecue at Number 10 for active-duty members of our militaries, along with their spouses, who make extraordinary sacrifices as well.  It was a wonderful event and a moving reminder of the long line of American and British service members who’ve made heavy and heroic sacrifices in the joint defense of our shared values that our people hold so dear.
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May 25, 2011
So as he said, we may take slightly different paths but we want to end up in the same place.  It’s an extremely difficult thing to have to do -- dealing with your public finances, getting on top of your deficit -- but it’s absolutely essential.  And we’ve talked a lot today about national security.  In the end, there’s no national security unless you have economic security.  And that’s an argument that we have to make and win every day here in the United Kingdom.
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May 25, 2011
At the same time, this is a vital year in Afghanistan.  British and American forces are fighting side by side in Helmand, right at the heart of this operation.  We’ve broken the momentum of the insurgency, and even in the Taliban’s heartland, in Kandahar and central Helmand, they’re on the back foot.  Now is the moment to step up our efforts to reach a political settlement.  The Taliban must make a decisive split from al Qaeda, give up violence, and join a political process that will bring lasting peace to that country.  We are agreed to give this the highest priority in the months ahead.
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May 25, 2011
Together, let us pay tribute to all of our men and women who have served and sacrificed over the last several years -– for they are part of an unbroken line of heroes who have borne the heaviest burden for the freedoms that we enjoy.  Because of them, we have broken the Taliban’s momentum.  Because of them, we have built the capacity of Afghan security forces.  And because of them, we are now preparing to turn a corner in Afghanistan by transitioning to Afghan lead.  And during this transition, we will pursue a lasting peace with those who break free of al Qaeda and respect the Afghan constitution and lay down arms.  And we will ensure that Afghanistan is never a safe haven for terror, but is instead a country that is strong, sovereign, and able to stand on its own two feet.
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May 25, 2011
Indeed, our efforts in this young century have led us to a new concept for NATO that will give us the capabilities needed to meet new threats -- threats like terrorism and piracy, cyber attacks and ballistic missiles.  But a revitalized NATO will continue to hew to that original vision of its founders, allowing us to rally collective action for the defense of our people, while building upon the broader belief of Roosevelt and Churchill that all nations have both rights and responsibilities, and all nations share a common interest in an international architecture that maintains the peace.
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May 26, 2011
PRIME MINISTER KAN:  (As translated.)  This is the first opportunity to meet President Obama after the earthquake disaster, and I would like to reiterate my sincere gratitude for the United States and its support.  And right after the disaster of the earthquake, we received a call from President, and since then, we have three times had a telephone conversation.  Right after the disaster the United States sent an aircraft carrier, the Ronald Reagan for its activity -- the U.S.-Japan’s activity under Operation Tomadachi.
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May 26, 2011
But our cooperation has extended beyond the security areas, and much of our discussion today revolved around economics.  We’re pleased that we’ve established working groups around issues of rule of law and innovation, both of which are key priorities of President Medvedev as he continues to modernize the Russian economy.  And our teams have been working intensively around the issue of Russian accession to the WTO.
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May 26, 2011
And finally, we continued our discussions around the issue of missile defense.  And we committed to working together so that we can find an approach and configuration that is consistent with the security needs of both countries, that maintains the strategic balance, and deals with potential threats that we both share.
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May 28, 2011
As I indicated at the Lisbon Summit and I reiterated over the last two days, we believe that missile defense is something where we should be cooperating with the Russians because we share external threats, and this would not be a threat to the strategic balance that Russia is concerned with.  But as you just heard from the President, we think it’s very important that NATO remains in charge of NATO defense capabilities.  That's one of the central principles of NATO.
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May 28, 2011
Talking about national security, this is a breakthrough moment.  And I'm not talking about our conversation here, but it is simply that reconfirmation of the fact that we are approaching, or that we are participants of the energetic breakthrough.  It’s literally joking anymore, or kidding -- we are speaking about technological cooperation.  We are talking about joint investments.  And we are talking about political cooperation of the two nations, out of which one is an absolute leader in the area of technology, and the other one, Poland, turned out to be one of the leaders in terms of deposits, resources.
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May 30, 2011
It is a great privilege to return here to our national sanctuary, this most hallowed ground, to commemorate Memorial Day with all of you.  With Americans who’ve come to pay their respects.  With members of our military and their families.  With veterans whose service we will never forget and always honor.  And with Gold Star families whose loved ones rest all around us in eternal peace.
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May 30, 2011
He wrote, “The venerable warriors that slumber there knew full well the risks that are associated with military service, and felt pride in defending our democracy.  The true lesson of Arlington,” he continued, “is that each headstone is that of a patriot.  Each headstone shares a story.  Thank you for letting me share with you [the story] about my friend Joe.”
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May 30, 2011
All right.  Good morning.  In a few moments, I’ll be joining members of our armed forces, their families, and veterans for the Memorial Day observance at Arlington.  There, and across our nation, we’ll pause to honor all those who’ve given their last full measure of devotion in defense of our country.  Theirs was the ultimate sacrifice, but it is one that every man and woman who wears America’s uniform is prepared to make -- so that we can live free.
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May 30, 2011
I’ve also benefited enormously from the advice and counsel of Hoss Cartwright.  Hoss is that rare combination of technical expert -- from cyber to missile defense -- and strategic thinker, whether it was updating our nuclear posture or preparing our military for 21st-century missions.  I’ll always be personally grateful to Hoss for his friendship and partnership.  And as he concludes four decades of service in the Marine Corps that he loves, he can do so knowing that our nation is more secure, and our military is stronger, because of his remarkable career.
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May 30, 2011
With nearly 40 years in uniform, Martin Dempsey is one of our nation’s most respected -- and combat-tested --generals.  In Iraq, he led our soldiers against a brutal insurgency.  Having trained Iraqi forces, he knows that nations must ultimately take responsibility for their own security.  Having served as acting commander of Central Command, he understands that in Iraq and Afghanistan security gains and political progress must go hand in hand.  And just as he challenged the Army to embrace new doctrine and tactics, I expect him to push all our forces to continue adapting and innovating to be ready for the missions of today and tomorrow.
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May 30, 2011
As Vice Chairman, Admiral Sandy Winnefeld will draw on more than 30 years of distinguished service.  Under his command, fighters from the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise pounded Taliban positions in the weeks after 9/11 and his carrier strike group played a critical role in air operations over Iraq.  Having served as a NATO commander, Sandy is well known to our allies.  Having served on the Joint Staff, he is known and trusted here at the White House.
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May 30, 2011
Most recently, as head of Northern Command, Sandy’s been responsible for the defense of our homeland and support to states and communities in times of crisis, such as the recent tornadoes and the floods along the Mississippi.  He’s supported our Mexican partners in their fight against the cartels and our Japanese allies in the response to their nuclear emergency.  So Sandy knows that we have to be prepared for the full range of challenges.  Sandy, I thank you and your wife Mary and your two sons for your continued service.
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May 30, 2011
And while I know that folks across the Army are proud to see one of their own selected as Chairman, I also know this means losing their new Chief in a time of war.  And that’s why, for the next Army Chief of Staff, I’m nominating one of the Army’s most accomplished soldiers -- and one of the tallest -- General Ray Odierno.  In three pivotal deployments to Iraq, he commanded the troops that captured Saddam Hussein, partnered with General Petraeus to help bring down the violence, and then transferred responsibility to Iraqi forces, allowing us to remove some 100,000 American troops and end our combat mission.
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May 30, 2011
After years on the frontlines, Ray understands what the Army must do -- to prevail in today’s wars, to prepare for the future, and to preserve the readiness of the soldiers and families who are the strength of America’s families.  And we’re fortunate that Ray’s dedication to our soldiers is shared by his wife Linda and their family, including their son Tony, a combat veteran and advocate for his fellow wounded warriors.
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June 24, 2011
Starting this summer, federal agencies will partner with industries to boost manufacturing in areas critical to our national security.  I just saw an example backstage.  The Defense Department scientists –- we call it DARPA -- the folks who brought us stealth technology and, by the way, who brought us the Internet –- wanted to see if it was possible to design defense systems cheaper and faster.  So they found a small company in Arizona called Local Motors, and they gave them a test:  You have one month to design a new combat support vehicle, and you’ve got three months to build it.
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June 28, 2011
When President Kennedy challenged America to go to the moon, your engineers produced the alloys that helped get a man on the moon.  In Afghanistan and Iraq, you’ve helped provide our troops with the armor they need to protect their vehicles from roadside bombs and IEDs.    And let me tell you, when I go to Walter Reed or Bethesda, and I think about all the lives you guys have saved, it makes me proud of what you do right here.  And today, your new aluminum-lithium alloy is making some of the world’s most advanced airplanes lighter, and tougher, and more cost-effective than ever.
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June 30, 2011
I ran for President because I believed we needed to refocus our efforts and our energy in Afghanistan and going after al Qaeda.  And we are going after al Qaeda and we’ve taken out their leadership.    And because of our progress and the extraordinary sacrifices of our troops, we are fulfilling the commitment I made at the start to reduce our troops, starting this month, so that Afghans can start taking responsibility for their own security -- and we can start rebuilding right here at home.    It's time to start rebuilding here at home -- time for nation-building right here.
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June 30, 2011
Members of Congress, Vice President Biden, Deputy Secretary Lynn, members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, service secretaries and distinguished guests, men and women of the finest military in the world, and, most of all, Secretary Gates, Becky, Brad, and although she could not be here, I also want to acknowledge your daughter Eleanor.
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June 30, 2011
As President, the highest honor that I can bestow on a civilian is the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  It speaks to the values we cherish as a people and the ideals we strive for as a nation.  And today it is my great privilege to present the Presidential Medal of Freedom to America’s 22nd Secretary of Defense, Robert M. Gates.
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June 30, 2011
Our nation’s 22nd Secretary of Defense, Robert M. Gates, has selflessly dedicated his life to ensuring the security of the American people.  He has served eight Presidents of both parties with unwavering patriotism.  As a champion of our men and women in uniform and their families, he has led the Department of Defense with courage and confidence during our nation’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and ensured our Armed Forces are better prepared for the conflicts of today and tomorrow.  The United States honors Robert M. Gates for his extraordinary leadership and for a lifetime of service and devotion to our nation.
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June 30, 2011
I’d like to thank the members of Congress with us today.  I appreciate the gracious and supportive treatment accorded to me by senators and representatives of both parties these past four and a half years.  Even when there were disagreements over policies and priorities, the Congress always came through for our men and women in uniform, especially for programs that protect and take care of troops and their families.
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June 30, 2011
A practice in spirit of cooperation is equally important for relationships with other elements of the government, especially those dealing with intelligence, development, and diplomacy.  The blows struck against al Qaeda, culminating in the bin Laden raid, exemplified a remarkable transformation of how we must fuse intelligence and military operations in the 21st century.
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June 30, 2011
In doing my utmost to support the troops downrange on these missions, I've spent a good deal of time venting frustration with the Pentagon bureaucracy.  However, I did so knowing that the people most often frustrated by the pace of things in this building are the career civilian professionals who strive every day to overcome the obstacles to getting things done.  As someone who worked his way up through the GS ladder, I understand and appreciate the challenges these public servants face and the sacrifices they make.  What they accomplish does not receive the attention and the thanks it deserves.  So know that I leave this post grateful for everything our defense civilians do for our military and our national security.
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June 30, 2011
During a time of war, the top priority of everyone in this building ultimately must be to get those fighting at the front what they need to survive and succeed on the battlefield and to be properly taken care of when they come home.  I've spent much of the past two months visiting with these troops -- first, in military facilities around the U.S., and then over several days at a number of forward-operating bases in Afghanistan.  Though I was only able to meet a small sample of those who deployed downrange, it was important to me to look them in the eye one last time and let them know how much I care about them and appreciate what they and their families do for our country.
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July 12, 2011
So today is only the second time during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq —- indeed, only the second time since Vietnam —- that a recipient of the Medal of Honor from an ongoing conflict has been able to accept this medal in person.  And having just spent some time with Leroy, his lovely wife Ashley, their wonderful children, in the Oval Office, then had a chance to see the entire Petry family here -- I have to say this could not be happening to a nicer guy or a more inspiring family.
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July 12, 2011
I want to take you back to the circumstances that led to this day.  It’s May 26, 2008, in the remote east of Afghanistan, near the mountainous border of Pakistan.  Helicopters carrying dozens of elite Army Rangers race over the rugged landscape.  And their target is an insurgent compound.  The mission is high risk.  It’s broad daylight.  The insurgents are heavily armed.  But it’s considered a risk worth taking because intelligence indicates that a top al Qaeda commander is in that compound.
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July 12, 2011
That Ranger is right.  Our heroes are all around us.  They’re the millions of Americans in uniform who have served these past 10 years, many -— like Leroy -— deploying tour after tour, year after year.  On the morning of 9/11, Leroy was training to be a Ranger, and as his instructor got the terrible news, they told Leroy and his class, “Keep training, you might be going to war.”  Within months Leroy was in Afghanistan for the first of seven deployments since 9/11.
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July 12, 2011
One of those names is of the Ranger who did not come back from the raid that day —- Specialist Christopher Gathercole.  Christopher’s brother and sister and grandmother are here with us today.  I would ask that they stand briefly so that we can show our gratitude for their family’s profound sacrifice.            Our heroes are all around us.  They’re the force behind the force —- military spouses like Ashley, who during Leroy’s many deployments, during missed birthdays and holidays, has kept this family Army Strong.  So we’re grateful to you, Ashley, and for all the military spouses who are here.    They’re military children, like Brittany and Austin and Reagan, and seven-year-old Landon, who at the end of a long day is there to gently rub his dad’s injured arm.  And so I want to make sure that we acknowledge these extraordinary children as well. 
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July 12, 2011
Our heroes are all around us.  They’re our men and women in uniform who through a decade of war have earned their place among the greatest of generations.  During World War II, on    D-Day, it was the Rangers of D Company who famously scaled the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc.  After 9/11, we learned again —- “Rangers Lead the Way.”  They were some of the first boots on the ground in Afghanistan.  They have been deployed continuously ever since.
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July 12, 2011
Today, we can see our progress in this war and our success against al Qaeda, and we're beginning to bring our troops home from Afghanistan this summer.  Understand there will be more fighting -– and more sacrifices -– in the months and years to come.  But I am confident that because of the service of men and women like Leroy, we will be able to say of this generation what President Reagan once said of those Rangers who took the cliffs on D-Day -— “These are the heroes who helped end a war.”
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July 12, 2011
Finally, the service of Leroy Petry speaks to the very essence of America —- that spirit that says, no matter how hard the journey, no matter how steep the climb, we don’t quit.  We don’t give up.  Leroy lost a hand and those wounds in his legs sometimes make it hard for him to stand.  But he pushes on, and even joined his fellow Rangers for a grueling 20-mile march.  He could have focused only on his own recovery, but today he helps care for other wounded warriors, inspiring them with his example. Given his wounds, he could have retired from the Army, with honor, but he chose to re-enlist -- indefinitely.  And this past year he returned to Afghanistan -- his eighth deployment -- back with his Ranger brothers on another mission to keep our country safe.
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July 12, 2011
MILITARY AIDE:  The President of the United States of America, authorized by act of Congress, March 3, 1863, has awarded, in the name of Congress, the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Leroy A. Petry, United States Army.  Staff Sergeant Leroy A. Petry distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty, in action, with an armed enemy in the vicinity of Paktya province, Afghanistan, on May 26, 2008.
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July 12, 2011
As a weapons squad leader with Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Staff Sergeant Petry moved to clear the courtyard of a house that potentially contained high-value combatants.  While crossing the courtyard, Staff Sergeant Petry and another Ranger were engaged and wounded by automatic weapons fire from enemy fighters.   Still under enemy fire and wounded in both legs, Staff Sergeant Petry led the other Ranger to cover.  He then reported the situation and engaged the enemy with a hand grenade, providing suppression as another Ranger moved to his position.
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July 29, 2011
There are a lot of crises in the world that we can’t always predict or avoid -– hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, terrorist attacks.  This isn’t one of those crises.  The power to solve this is in our hands.  And on a day when we’ve been reminded how fragile the economy already is, this is one burden we can lift ourselves.   We can end it with a simple vote –- a vote that Democrats and Republicans have been taking for decades, a vote that the leaders in Congress have taken for decades.
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August 30, 2011
Hello Legionnaires! It is wonderful to see all of you. Let me, first of all, thank Commander Foster for your introduction and for your lifetime of service to your fellow Marines, soldiers and veterans. On behalf of us all, I want to thank Jimmie and I want to thank your entire leadership team for welcoming me here today. Thank you very much.
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August 30, 2011
It is wonderful to be back with the American Legion. Back in Illinois, my home state -- (applause.) Hey! Illinois is in the house. We worked together to make sure veterans across the state were getting the benefits they had earned. When I was in the U.S. Senate, we worked together to spotlight the tragedy of homelessness among veterans -— and the need to end it.
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August 30, 2011
And, Legionnaires, you know this story because it's the story of your lives. And in times like these, all Americans can draw strength from your example. When Hitler controlled a continent and fascism appeared unstoppable, when our harbor was bombed and our Pacific fleet crippled, there were those that declared that the United States had been reduced to a third-class power. But you, our veterans of World War II, crossed the oceans and stormed the beaches and freed the millions, liberated the camps and showed the United States of America is the greatest force for freedom that the world has ever known.
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August 30, 2011
When North Korea invaded the South, pushing the allied forces into a tiny sliver of territory -— the Pusan Perimeter —- it seemed like the war could be lost. But you, our Korean War veterans, pushed back, fought on, year after bloody year. And this past Veterans Day, I went to Seoul and joined our Korean War veterans for the 60th anniversary of that war, and we marked that milestone in a free and prosperous Republic of Korea, one of our greatest allies.
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August 30, 2011
When communist forces in Vietnam unleashed the Tet Offensive, it fueled the debate here at home that raged over that war. You, our Vietnam veterans, did not always receive the respect that you deserved —- which was a national shame. But let it be remembered that you won every major battle of that war. Every single one. As President, I’ve been honored to welcome our Vietnam veterans to the White House and finally present them with the medals and recognition that they had earned. It’s been a chance to convey, on behalf of the American people, those simple words with which our Vietnam veterans greet each other -— “Welcome home.”
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August 30, 2011
Most profoundly, we see the wages of war in those patriots who never came home. They gave their all, their last full measure of devotion, in Kandahar, in the Korengal, in Helmand, in the battles for Baghdad and Fallujah and Ramadi. Now they lay at rest in quiet corners of America, but they live on in the families who loved them and in a nation that is safer because of their service. And today we pay humble tribute to the more than 6,200 Americans in uniform who have given their lives in this hard decade of war. We honor them all. We are grateful for them.
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August 30, 2011
When a resurgent Taliban threatened to give al Qaeda more space to plot against us, the additional forces I ordered to Afghanistan went on the offensive -— taking the fight to the Taliban and pushing them out of their safe havens, allowing Afghans to reclaim their communities and training Afghan forces. And a few months ago, our troops achieved our greatest victory yet in the fight against those who attacked us on 9/11 -- delivering justice to Osama bin Laden in one of the greatest intelligence and military operations in American history.
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August 30, 2011
Credit for these successes, credit for this progress, belongs to all who have worn the uniform in these wars. Today we're honored to be joined by some of them. And I would ask all those who served this past decade -— the members of the 9/11 Generation -— to stand and accept the thanks of a grateful nation.
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August 30, 2011
Having put al Qaeda on the path to defeat, we won’t relent until the job is done. Having started to draw down our forces in Afghanistan, we’ll bring home 33,000 troops by next summer and bring home more troops in the coming years. As our mission transitions from combat to support, Afghans will take responsibility for their own security, and the longest war in American history will come to a responsible end.
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August 30, 2011
For our troops and military families who've sacrificed so much, this means relief from an unrelenting decade of operations. Today, fewer of our sons and daughters are serving in harm’s way. For so many troops who’ve already done their duty, we’ve put an end to the stop loss. And our soldiers can now look forward to shorter deployments. That means more time at home between deployments, and more time training for the full range of missions that they will face.
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August 30, 2011
With these historic investments, we’re making dramatic improvements to veterans' health care. We’re improving VA facilities to better serve our women veterans. We’re expanding outreach and care for our rural veterans, like those that I met during my recent visit to Cannon Falls, including two proud Legionnaires -— Tom Newman of Legion Post 620 in Hugo, and Joseph Kidd, Post 164 in Stewartville. Are they here right now? They're out there somewhere. That was a good lunch, by the way.
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August 30, 2011
For our Vietnam veterans, because we declared that three diseases are now presumed to be related to your exposure to Agent Orange, we’ve begun paying the disability benefits that you need. For our veterans of the Gulf War, we’re moving forward to address the nine infectious diseases that we declared are now presumed to be related to your service in Desert Storm.
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August 30, 2011
At the same time, our outstanding VA Secretary, Ric Shinseki, is working every day to build a 21st century VA. Many of our Vietnam vets are already submitting their Agent Orange claims electronically. Hundreds of you, from all wars, are requesting your benefits online. Thanks to the new “blue button” on the VA website, you can now share your personal health information with your doctors outside of the VA. And we’re making progress in sharing medical records between DOD and VA. We’re not there yet. I've been pounding on this thing since I came into office. We are going to stay on it, we're going to keep at it until our troops and our veterans have a lifetime electronic medical record that you can keep for your life.
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August 30, 2011
Of course, we’ve still got some work to do. We got to break the backlog of disability claims. I know that over the past year, the backlog has actually grown due to new claims from Agent Orange. But let me say this -- and I know Secretary Shinseki agrees -- when our veterans who fought for our country have to fight just to get the benefits that you’ve already earned, that’s unacceptable. So this is going to remain a key priority for us.
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August 30, 2011
The same is true for our mission to end homelessness among our veterans. Already, we’ve helped to bring tens of thousands of veterans off the streets. For the first time ever, we’ve made veterans and military families a priority -— not just at the VA, not just at DOD, but across the federal government. And that includes making sure that federal agencies are working together so that every veteran who fought for America has a home in America.
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August 30, 2011
We’re working to fulfill our obligations to our 9/11 Generation veterans, especially our wounded warriors. The constant threat of IEDs has meant a new generation of service members with multiple traumatic injuries, including Traumatic Brain Injury. And thanks to advanced armor and medical technologies, our troops are surviving injuries that would have been fatal in previous wars. So we’re saving more lives, but more American veterans live with severe wounds for a lifetime. That's why we need to be for them for their lifetime.
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August 30, 2011
We’re working aggressively to address another signature wound of this war, which has led to too many fine troops and veterans to take their own lives, and that’s Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. We’re continuing to make major investments -- improving outreach and suicide prevention, hiring and training more mental health counselors, and treating more veterans than ever before.
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August 30, 2011
The days when depression and PTSD were stigmatized -- those days must end. That’s why I made the decision to start sending condolence letters to the families of service members who take their lives while deployed in a combat zone. These Americans did not die because they were weak. They were warriors. They deserve our respect. Every man and woman in uniform, every veteran, needs to know that your nation will be there to help you stay strong. It’s the right thing to do.
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August 30, 2011
In recent months, we’ve heard new reports of some of our veterans not getting the prompt mental health care that they desperately need. And that, too, is unacceptable. If a veteran has the courage to seek help, then we need to be doing everything in our power to deliver the lifesaving mental care that they need. So Secretary Shinseki and the VA are going to stay on this. And we'll continue to make it easier for veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress to qualify for VA benefits, regardless of the war that you served in. If you served in a combat theater and a VA doctor confirms a diagnosis of PTSD, that's enough.
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August 30, 2011
Which brings me to the final area where America must meet its obligations to our veterans, and this is a place where we need each other -- and that’s the task of renewing our nation’s economic strength. After a decade of war, it’s time to focus on nation building here at home. And our veterans, especially our 9/11 veterans, have the skills and the dedication to help lead the way.
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August 30, 2011
That’s why we’re funding the post-9/11 G.I. Bill, which is now helping more than 500,000 veterans and family members go to college, get their degrees, and play their part in moving America forward. It’s why, this fall, we’ll start including vocational training and apprenticeships as well, so veterans can develop the skills to succeed in today’s economy. And that’s why I’ve directed the federal government to hire more veterans, including more than 100,000 veterans in the past year and a half alone.
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August 30, 2011
Second, we’re encouraging the private sector to do its part. So I’ve challenged companies across America to hire or train 100,000 unemployed veterans or their spouses. And this builds on the commitments that many companies have already made as part of the Joining Forces Campaign, championed by the First Lady and the Vice President’s spouse, Dr. Jill Biden: 100,000 jobs for veterans and spouses. And to get this done, I’ve proposed a Returning Heroes Tax Credit for companies that hire unemployed veterans and a Wounded Warrior Tax Credit for companies that hire unemployed veterans with a disability.
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September 26, 2011
In addition, obviously I want to acknowledge your outstanding governor, Christine Gregoire. I want to thank Robert Cray and the Robert Cray Band. I want to thank -- you have some of the best elected officials in the country, and you've got some of the best congressional -- I think one of the best congressional delegations in the country. Stand up, congressional delegation.
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September 27, 2011
If Congress passes this jobs bill, companies will get new tax credits for hiring America’s veterans.  Think about it -- these men and women, they leave their careers, they leave their families.  They are protecting us and our freedom.  And the last thing they should have to do is fight for a job when they come home.    That’s why Congress needs to pass this bill -- to make it easier for businesses to hire our veterans and use the skills that they’ve developed protecting us. 
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October 20, 2011
We discussed the heartbreaking situation that occurred in Norway on July 22nd.  And as I’ve said before, I think everybody in the United States was horrified by the events there.  But I complimented the Prime Minister and the people of Norway for the grace with which they handled this extraordinarily difficult situation.  It underscored the importance of all of us cooperating in preventing terrorism of all kinds.  And the United States and Norway have established a very effective intelligence cooperation system, and that is continually being enhanced and improved.  And so we both agreed that we’re very pleased with the progress that we’ve made in making sure that we are working closely together to prevent the kind of senseless violence that we saw in Norway so recently, and that we’ve seen around the world over the last several years.
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October 20, 2011
We did exactly what we said we were going to do in Libya.  And I think it underscores the capacity of us to work together as an international community.  The United States obviously has unique capacities, and we were proud of the leadership we showed in that process.  But, increasingly, wherever we have the possibility of working with outstanding partners like Norway, then I think that we’re going to be even more effective.  And the United States will always preserve its right and duty to protect ourselves, our allies and our interests.
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October 21, 2011
Good afternoon, everybody.  As a candidate for President, I pledged to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end -- for the sake of our national security and to strengthen American leadership around the world.  After taking office, I announced a new strategy that would end our combat mission in Iraq and remove all of our troops by the end of 2011.      As Commander-in-Chief, ensuring the success of this strategy has been one of my highest national security priorities.  Last year, I announced the end to our combat mission in Iraq.  And to date, we’ve removed more than 100,000 troops.  Iraqis have taken full responsibility for their country’s security.
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October 21, 2011
In today’s conversation, Prime Minister Maliki and I agreed that a meeting of the Higher Coordinating Committee of the Strategic Framework Agreement will convene in the coming weeks.  And I invited the Prime Minister to come to the White House in December, as we plan for all the important work that we have to do together.  This will be a strong and enduring partnership.  With our diplomats and civilian advisors in the lead, we’ll help Iraqis strengthen institutions that are just, representative and accountable.  We’ll build new ties of trade and of commerce, culture and education, that unleash the potential of the Iraqi people.  We’ll partner with an Iraq that contributes to regional security and peace, just as we insist that other nations respect Iraq’s sovereignty.
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October 21, 2011
This December will be a time to reflect on all that we’ve been though in this war.  I’ll join the American people in paying tribute to the more than 1 million Americans who have served in Iraq.  We’ll honor our many wounded warriors and the nearly 4,500 American patriots -- and their Iraqi and coalition partners -- who gave their lives to this effort.
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October 21, 2011
And finally, I would note that the end of war in Iraq reflects a larger transition.  The tide of war is receding.  The drawdown in Iraq allowed us to refocus our fight against al Qaeda and achieve major victories against its leadership -- including Osama bin Laden.  Now, even as we remove our last troops from Iraq, we’re beginning to bring our troops home from Afghanistan, where we’ve begun a transition to Afghan security and leadership.  When I took office, roughly 180,000 troops were deployed in both these wars.  And by the end of this year that number will be cut in half, and make no mistake:  It will continue to go down.
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October 21, 2011
So to sum up, the United States is moving forward from a position of strength.  The long war in Iraq will come to an end by the end of this year.  The transition in Afghanistan is moving forward, and our troops are finally coming home.  As they do, fewer deployments and more time training will help keep our military the very best in the world.  And as we welcome home our newest veterans, we’ll never stop working to give them and their families the care, the benefits and the opportunities that they have earned.
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October 24, 2011
Because of you, as promised, the war in Iraq will end by the end of this year and all our troops will be home -- all of them. And, by the way, the country is stronger and it is safer. And we are making a transition in Afghanistan, and al Qaeda is on the run and we have decimated their leadership -- because of you. Because of you, anybody can serve in our military now, regardless of who they love. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” is history, because of you.
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October 25, 2011
We ended “don’t ask, don’t tell,” because we’re a country that makes sure that anybody who loves this country are going to be able to serve this country.    And we ended the war in Iraq as we promised, because it was time for us to bring our troops home and focus on rebuilding America. 
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October 29, 2011
Tonight, I think it’s also important for us to honor the proud service of the countless Italian Americans who have fought for this country since our founding, and who wear the uniform today -- from the Chief of Staff of the Army, General Ray Odierno, -- to a hero whom I was proud to bestow our nation’s highest military decoration, and was the first one in a very long time to personally receive the Medal of Honor, staff sergeant Salvatore Giunta.
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November 21, 2011
Secretary Shinseki is here -- where's Ric?  There he is.  Ric has been doing an outstanding job leading our Department of Veterans Affairs.  And I'm also proud to say that we are joined by some of the nation's leading veterans service organizations and members of Congress who helped make this bill possible.
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November 21, 2011
And just as they fight for us on the battlefield, it's up to us to fight for our troops and their families when they come home.  And that's why today is such a wonderful day, because today a deeply grateful nation is doing right by our military and paying back just a little bit of what we owe to our veterans.
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November 21, 2011
Our country has benefited enormously from our veterans’ services overseas.  And we will benefit just the same from their service here at home.  And that’s why, under my direction, the federal government has already hired more than 120,000 veterans. Thanks to the work that Jill and Michelle mentioned, some of our most patriotic businesses have pledged to hire 135,000 more veterans and military spouses.  And today, we’re giving those businesses just one more reason to give veterans a job.
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November 21, 2011
Now, over the past decade, nearly 3 million service members have transitioned back to civilian life, joining millions who have served through the decades.  And as we end the war in Iraq and we wind down the war in Afghanistan, over a million more will join them over the next five years.  This bill is an important step towards helping those veterans transition into the workforce.  And beyond the tax breaks that I mentioned, it also contains a number of other reforms -- from education and training to career counseling, to job search assistance.
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November 21, 2011
We're still going to need to do more.  And that’s why I’ve also announced a series of executive actions to help our veterans back to work.  We’ve set up a Veteran Gold Card -- this is a card that post-9/11 veterans can download today, and it gives you access to a suite of career services, including six months of personalized counseling at the roughly 3,000 one-stop career centers located across the country.
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November 21, 2011
Now, I’m pleased that both parties came together to make this happen.  So once again, I want to thank all members of Congress who are involved.  It is important to note that in addition to our veterans, there are millions of other Americans who are still looking for work right now.  They deserve the same kind of bold, bipartisan action that we’ve seen here today.  That's what people have sent us here to do.  So my message to every member of Congress is:  Keep going.  Keep working.  Keep finding more ways to put partisanship aside and put more Americans back to work.
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November 21, 2011
MRS. OBAMA:  Thank you all.  Thanks so much.  Well, good morning, everyone.  Please, rest, rest.  I am thrilled to be here today, alongside the Vice President and my favorite person here, Jill Biden -- oh, yes, you, too, honey.    Secretary Shinseki, members of Congress, representatives of veteran service organizations, and some of our veterans, as our nation reaffirms its commitment to the men and women who have served this country so bravely.
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November 21, 2011
Over the past few years I’ve had the privilege of meeting with so many of our troops, veterans and military families.  And every time I visit with them at a base, every time I sit with them at a hospital bed, every time I talk to their kids at a barbeque or a baseball game, I walk away inspired.  Their strength, resilience, and commitment to this country is simply unmatched.
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November 21, 2011
And the really wonderful thing that we found is that people are actually listening.  Americans are standing up to show their appreciation.  Businesses have already hired more than 18,000 veterans and military families, and they’ve made commitments to hire at least 135,000 more.  Schools are working with nonprofits and tech companies to improve the experience of our military children.  Entertainment executives are making public service announcements.  Community groups are gathering donations and putting together thousands of care packages.  And truly, the list goes on and on and on.
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November 21, 2011
And I am about to introduce my favorite man -- who is someone who’s not afraid to ask for the support for our veterans.  He has been standing up for veterans since before he was President.  And since he took office, he’s been working hard to strengthen our nation’s sacred trust with our veterans -- not just with words, but with actions.
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November 21, 2011
He’s helped send more than half a million veterans and military family members to college through the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill.  He’s building a 21st century VA to fully support our veterans throughout their lives.  He’s taken unprecedented steps to improve mental health care and expand care for our women veterans and wounded warriors.  And he’s working to put an end, once and for all, to the outrage of veteran homelessness.
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November 23, 2011
When we gather around our tables tomorrow to share the fruits of our blessings, let’s remember what that means.  Let’s be grateful for what we have.  Let’s be mindful of those who have less.  Let’s appreciate those who hold a special place in our lives, and make sure that they know it.  And let’s think about those who can’t spend the holiday with their loved ones –- especially the members of our military serving overseas.  I’d like to thank all our men and women in uniform and their families for their incredible service and devotion.
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November 30, 2011
So let’s just take a look over the past several weeks.  We said, we can’t wait.  We just went ahead and started taking some steps on our own to give working Americans a leg up in a tough economy.  For homeowners, I announced a new policy that will help families refinance their mortgages and save thousands of dollars.    For all the young people out here -- we reformed our student loan process to make it easier for more students to pay off their debts earlier.    For our veterans out here -- and I see some veterans in the crowd -- we ordered several new initiatives to help our returning heroes find new jobs and get trained for those jobs.    Because you shouldn’t have to fight for a job when you come home after fighting for America -- you shouldn’t have to do that. 
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November 30, 2011
And so this is a moment of enormous promise.  But I need a couple more years to finish the job.  And that’s why it’s going to be so important that, having worked through all the angst of the last year or two, where people are trying to figure out, why didn't we get everything done in the first three years, it’s time for us to refocus and make sure that we understand that change that we can believe in was never change overnight, but rather it was going to be a slow, steady progression in which this aircraft carrier we call the United States of America slowly shifts in a direction that promises more opportunity, more caring for those who need help, more tolerance of our differences -- the kind of America we want our kids and our grandkids to grow up in.
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December 12, 2011
We’ll partner for our shared security.  Mr. Prime Minister, we discussed how the United States could help Iraq train and equip its forces -- not by stationing American troops there or with U.S. bases in Iraq -- those days are over -- but rather, the kind of training and assistance we offer to other countries.  Given the challenges we face together in a rapidly changing region, we also agreed to establish a new, formal channel of communication between our national security advisors.
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December 12, 2011
And finally, we’re partnering for regional security.  For just as Iraq has pledged not to interfere in other nations, other nations must not interfere in Iraq.  Iraq’s sovereignty must be respected.  And meanwhile, there should be no doubt, the drawdown in Iraq has allowed us to refocus our resources, achieve progress in Afghanistan, put al Qaeda on the path to defeat, and to better prepare for the full range of challenges that lie ahead.
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December 12, 2011
And because we have proven success in the first mission, a very unique success -- nobody imagined that we would succeed in defeating terrorism and the al Qaeda -- we must also establish the necessary steps in order to succeed in our second stage, which is the dual relationship under the Strategic Framework Agreement, in the economic sphere, as well as in educational and commercial and cultural and judicial and security cooperation fields.
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December 12, 2011
Iraq now has become -- reliant completely on its own security apparatus and internal security as a result of the expertise that it gained during the confrontations and the training and the equipping.  But it remains in need of cooperation with the United States of America in security issues and information and combating terrorism, and in the area of training and the area of equipping, which is needed by the Iraqi army.  And we have started that.  And we want to complete the process of equipping the Iraqi army in order to protect our sovereignty, and does not violate the rights of anybody -- or do not take any missions that sovereignty of others.
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December 12, 2011
PRIME MINISTER AL-MALIKI:  Definitely, we have raised the issue of Iraqi need for weapons, for aerial protection and naval and ground protection.  We have a lot of weapons, American weapons, and it requires trainers.  And we received promises for cooperation from His Excellency the President for some weapons that Iraq is asking for, especially those related to its protection of its airspace.  And we hope that the Congress will approve another group of F-16 airplanes to Iraq because our air force was destroyed completely during the war that Iraq entered into.
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December 14, 2011
Fort Bragg, we’re here to mark a historic moment in the life of our country and our military.  For nearly nine years, our nation has been at war in Iraq.  And you -- the incredible men and women of Fort Bragg -- have been there every step of the way, serving with honor, sacrificing greatly, from the first waves of the invasion to some of the last troops to come home.  So, as your Commander-in-Chief, and on behalf of a grateful nation, I’m proud to finally say these two words, and I know your families agree:  Welcome home!    Welcome home.  Welcome home.    Welcome home.
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December 14, 2011
It is great to be here at Fort Bragg -- home of the Airborne and Special Operations Forces.  I want to thank General Anderson and all your outstanding leaders for welcoming us here today, including General Dave Rodriguez, General John Mulholland.  And I want to give a shout-out to your outstanding senior enlisted leaders, including Command Sergeant Major Roger Howard, Darrin Bohn, Parry Baer.  And give a big round of applause to the Ground Forces Band. 
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December 14, 2011
And though they’re not here with us today, we send our thoughts and prayers to General Helmick, Sergeant Major Rice and all the folks from the 18th Airborne and Bragg who are bringing our troops back from Iraq.    We honor everyone from the 82nd Airborne and Bragg serving and succeeding in Afghanistan, and General Votel and those serving around the world.
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December 14, 2011
As your Commander-in-Chief, I can tell you that it will indeed be a part of history.  Those last American troops will move south on desert sands, and then they will cross the border out of Iraq with their heads held high.  One of the most extraordinary chapters in the history of the American military will come to an end.  Iraq’s future will be in the hands of its people.  America’s war in Iraq will be over.
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December 14, 2011
Now, nine years ago, American troops were preparing to deploy to the Persian Gulf and the possibility that they would be sent to war.  Many of you were in grade school.  I was a state senator.  Many of the leaders now governing Iraq -- including the Prime Minister -- were living in exile.  And since then, our efforts in Iraq have taken many twists and turns.  It was a source of great controversy here at home, with patriots on both sides of the debate.  But there was one constant -- there was one constant:  your patriotism, your commitment to fulfill your mission, your abiding commitment to one another.  That was constant.  That did not change.  That did not waiver.
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December 14, 2011
-- turned over the Anbar Operations Center to the Iraqis in the type of ceremony that has become commonplace over these last several months.  In an area that was once the heart of the insurgency, a combination of fighting and training, politics and partnership brought the promise of peace.  And here’s what the local Iraqi deputy governor said:  “This is all because of the U.S. forces’ hard work and sacrifice.”
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December 14, 2011
We know too well the heavy cost of this war.  More than 1.5 million Americans have served in Iraq -- 1.5 million.  Over 30,000 Americans have been wounded, and those are only the wounds that show.  Nearly 4,500 Americans made the ultimate sacrifice -- including 202 fallen heroes from here at Fort Bragg -- 202.  So today, we pause to say a prayer for all those families who have lost their loved ones, for they are part of our broader American family.  We grieve with them.
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December 14, 2011
As Michelle mentioned, we also know that the burden of war is borne by your families.  In countless base communities like Bragg, folks have come together in the absence of a loved one.  As the Mayor of Fayetteville put it, “War is not a political word here.  War is where our friends and neighbors go.”  So there have been missed birthday parties and graduations.  There are bills to pay and jobs that have to be juggled while picking up the kids.  For every soldier that goes on patrol, there are the husbands and the wives, the mothers, the fathers, the sons, the daughters praying that they come back.
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December 14, 2011
That will not stop.  But our commitment doesn’t end when you take off the uniform.  You’re the finest that our nation has to offer.  And after years of rebuilding Iraq, we want to enlist our veterans in the work of rebuilding America.  That’s why we’re committed to doing everything we can to extend more opportunities to those who have served.
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December 14, 2011
That includes the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, so that you and your families can get the education that allows you to live out your dreams.  That includes a national effort to put our veterans to work.  We’ve worked with Congress to pass a tax credit so that companies have the incentive to hire vets.  And Michelle has worked with the private sector to get commitments to create 100,000 jobs for those who’ve served.
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December 14, 2011
And by the way, we’re doing this not just because it’s the right thing to do by you –- we’re doing it because it’s the right thing to do for America.  Folks like my grandfather came back from World War II to form the backbone of this country’s middle class.  For our post-9/11 veterans -– with your skill, with your discipline, with your leadership, I am confident that the story of your service to America is just beginning.
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December 14, 2011
Because of you, in Afghanistan we’ve broken the momentum of the Taliban.  Because of you, we’ve begun a transition to the Afghans that will allow us to bring our troops home from there.  And around the globe, as we draw down in Iraq, we have gone after al Qaeda so that terrorists who threaten America will have no safe haven, and Osama bin Laden will never again walk the face of this Earth.
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December 14, 2011
The war in Iraq will soon belong to history.  Your service belongs to the ages.  Never forget that you are part of an unbroken line of heroes spanning two centuries –- from the colonists who overthrew an empire, to your grandparents and parents who faced down fascism and communism, to you –- men and women who fought for the same principles in Fallujah and Kandahar, and delivered justice to those who attacked us on 9/11.
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December 14, 2011
All of you here today have lived through the fires of war.  You will be remembered for it.  You will be honored for it -- always.  You have done something profound with your lives.  When this nation went to war, you signed up to serve.  When times were tough, you kept fighting.  When there was no end in sight, you found light in the darkness.
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December 14, 2011
A couple of years ago, I came here on my very first official trip as First Lady.  And I spent some -- a great time with some of the amazing military spouses, and I visited again this summer to help to put on the finishing touches on an amazing new home for a veteran and her family.  So when I heard that I had the opportunity to come back and to be a part of welcoming you all home, to say I was excited was an understatement.
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December 14, 2011
So I want you to know that this nation’s support doesn’t end as this war ends.  Not by a long shot.  We’re going to keep on doing this.  We have so much more work to do.  We’re going to keep finding new ways to serve all of you as well as you have served us.  And the man leading the way is standing right here.    He is fighting for you and your families every single day.  He’s helped more than half a million veterans and military family members go to college through the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. 
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December 20, 2011
I just got back from a ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base, where we received the flag and the colors that our troops fought under in Iraq, and I met with some of the last men and women to return home from that war.  And these Americans, and all Americans who serve, are the embodiment of courage and selflessness and patriotism, and when they fight together, and sometimes die together, they don’t know and they certainly don’t care who’s a Democrat and who’s a Republican and how somebody is doing in the polls and how this might play in the spin room.  They work as a team, and they do their job.  And they do it for something bigger than themselves.
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January 12, 2012
We can keep our military strong and our nation secure with a defense budget that continues to be larger than roughly the next 10 countries combined.
January 24, 2012
Ending the Iraq war has allowed us to strike decisive blows against our enemies.  From Pakistan to Yemen, the al Qaeda operatives who remain are scrambling, knowing that they can’t escape the reach of the United States of America. 
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January 24, 2012
Above all, our freedom endures because of the men and women in uniform who defend it.    As they come home, we must serve them as well as they’ve served us.  That includes giving them the care and the benefits they have earned –- which is why we’ve increased annual VA spending every year I’ve been President.    And it means enlisting our veterans in the work of rebuilding our nation.
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January 24, 2012
With the bipartisan support of this Congress, we’re providing new tax credits to companies that hire vets.  Michelle and Jill Biden have worked with American businesses to secure a pledge of 135,000 jobs for veterans and their families.  And tonight, I’m proposing a Veterans Jobs Corps that will help our communities hire veterans as cops and firefighters, so that America is as strong as those who defend her. 
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January 26, 2012
Leading on this issue is the right thing to do.  Yes, it’s the right thing to do to prevent climate change.    Yes, it’s the right thing to do in terms of reducing pollution.  But it’s also important for our national security.
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January 26, 2012
Reducing our dependence on oil is going to strengthen our national security.  It will make our environment cleaner for our kids.  It will make energy cheaper for our businesses and for our families.  And doubling down on a clean energy industry will create lots of jobs in the process. 
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January 26, 2012
But that alone doesn’t do it.  So if we want to actually deal with the deficit, we’ve got to look at the other side of the ledger.  Do we want to keep these tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans?  Or do we want to keep investing in everything else -- like education, like clean energy -- like a strong military, like caring for our veterans who are coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan?  We can’t do both.  We can’t do both.
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January 31, 2012
In addition, we’ve got all the Cabinet agencies, who are here represented.  They are putting forward their own initiatives to enhance the ability of entrepreneurs to get up and running.  So, for example, the Department of Homeland Security, my understanding is we’re going to be talking about how we can improve the visa process for those who are interested in investing in the United States and starting businesses here in the United States.
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February 14, 2012
Over the next 10 years, the growth in the defense budget will slow, but the fact of the matter is this: It will still grow.
February 17, 2012
We've subsidized oil companies for nearly a hundred years.  It's time to end a hundred years of taxpayer giveaways to an industry that’s rarely been more profitable, so we can double down on the clean energy industry that has never been more promising -- in solar power and wind power and biofuels. That’s good for our economy, it's good for our national security, and it is good for the planet.  And that is part of what's at stake in this election. 
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February 23, 2012
An America built to last is one where we're supporting scientists and researchers trying to find the next breakthrough in clean energy, making sure that happens right here in the United States. You know, we've subsidized oil companies for a century. It's time to end a hundred years of subsidies for an industry that's rarely been more profitable, and make sure that we're doubling down on clean energy that's never been more promising -- solar power and wind power, biofuels. They can break our addiction to foreign oil, create jobs here in America. And it's good for our national security, it's good for our economy, it's good for your pocketbook.
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February 24, 2012
In preparation for our meeting in Chicago, at NATO, in my hometown, we talked about the transition that was already agreed to in Lisbon, when it comes to putting Afghans in the lead in security over the next several years.  And we are going to be consulting with not only Denmark but our other allies in making sure that that is a smooth transition and one that is sustained, where we continue to help the Afghan government to support its own sovereignty and effectively control its borders.
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February 24, 2012
We also discussed the extraordinary counterterrorism cooperation that's taking place between our two countries.  And I thanked the Prime Minister for the excellent work that her intelligence team has done.  We are in constant communication on a whole host of issues.  The Danes are very much one of the leaders when it comes to counterterrorism, and are obviously familiar with the significant threats that are posed by terrorism.  So we appreciate that very much.
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February 24, 2012
I look forward, of course, to coming back to the States, to your hometown, Chicago, to participate in the NATO summit.  And what we will be discussing there is Afghanistan, of course.  One of the major issues there is transition to the next phase in Afghanistan, and where -- what we want to see is the Afghans taking responsibility for their own security.  And we are, in Europe, with all the Danish leadership, trying to gather donors in this -- in securing that the Afghans are capable of taking over their own security.
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March 25, 2012
Beyond those two specific issues, we had a wide-ranging conversation about our continued support of counterterrorism efforts, including the efforts that are taking place in Turkey with respect to the PKK.  We are very supportive of making sure that the kinds of terrorist attacks that we've seen in the past are not occurring.  I congratulated the Prime Minister on the efforts that he's made within Turkey to protect religious minorities.  I am pleased to hear of his decision to reopen the Halki Seminary.
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March 26, 2012
I’ve also seen the bonds in our men and women in uniform, like the American and Korean troops I visited yesterday along the DMZ -- Freedom’s Frontier. And we salute their service and are very grateful for them. We honor all those who have given their lives in our defense, including the 46 brave souls who perished aboard the Cheonan two years ago today. And in their memory we reaffirm the enduring promise at the core of our alliance -- we stand together, and the commitment of the United States to the defense and the security of the Republic of Korea will never waver.
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March 26, 2012
So in short, the international community has made it harder than ever for terrorists to acquire nuclear weapons, and that has made us all safer. We’re building an international architecture that can ensure nuclear safety. But we’re under no illusions. We know that nuclear material, enough for many weapons, is still being stored without adequate protection. And we know that terrorists and criminal gangs are still trying to get their hands on it -- as well as radioactive material for a dirty bomb. We know that just the smallest amount of plutonium -- about the size of an apple -- could kill hundreds of thousands and spark a global crisis. The danger of nuclear terrorism remains one of the greatest threats to global security.
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March 26, 2012
Going forward, we’ll continue to seek discussions with Russia on a step we have never taken before -- reducing not only our strategic nuclear warheads, but also tactical weapons and warheads in reserve. I look forward to discussing this agenda with President Putin when we will meet in May. Missile defense will be on the agenda, but I believe this should be an area of cooperation, not tension. And I’m confident that, working together, we can continue to make progress and reduce our nuclear stockpiles. Of course, we’ll consult closely with our allies every step of the way, because the security and defense of our allies, both in Europe and Asia, is not negotiable.
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March 26, 2012
As we do, let’s never forget the astonishing benefits that nuclear technology has brought to our lives. Nuclear technology helps make our food safe. It prevents disease in the developing world. It’s the high-tech medicine that treats cancer and finds new cures. And, of course, it’s the energy -- the clean energy that helps cut the carbon pollution that contributes to climate change. Here in South Korea, as you know, as a leader in nuclear energy, you’ve shown the progress and prosperity that can be achieved when nations embrace peaceful nuclear energy and reject the development of nuclear arms.
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March 26, 2012
We've agreed that nuclear terrorism is one of the most urgent and serious threats to global security.  We agreed to the goal of securing the world's nuclear materials in four years.  We committed ourselves to specific and concrete actions.  And to get this done, we agreed a new effort of sustained and effective international cooperation was required, that we would need to create an architecture in which we could share best practices, help to enforce many of the commitments that we had already made, and continue to improve every aspect of this issue.
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March 27, 2012
12:00 P.M. KST   PRESIDENT NAZARBAYEV:  (As interpreted.)  Well, probably as all of you know that Semipalatinsk nuclear test site was one of the largest nuclear test sites in the world, together with Nevada.  And about 500 nuclear tests have been carried out on this test site, 70 of them in the open air.    And the polygon was closed by my first decree as the President of Kazakhstan 20 years ago, and since then, together with Russia and the United States, we have been working to rehabilitate the territory around the Semipalatinsk test site.  And since 2004, we were able to rehabilitate from radiation about 3,000 square kilometers of the polygon.  The total polluted area is about 40,000 square kilometers.  And as a result of tests in the past, about 1.5 million people have been radiated.   And this is a very good example of close collaboration when all three countries also work on getting rid of the military infrastructure on the polygon.  And you probably know that about 1,100 warheads have been deployed on military missiles on the territory of the polygon in military launching shafts.  And we closed that also, together with the help of Russian and American partners.  And we are very grateful, the people of Kazakhstan are very grateful for that assistance, and we hope that we'll be able to work together in the future for a safer world on nuclear non-proliferation.   PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Well, I'm going to just make a very brief statement here.  We wanted to do this brief appearance to highlight one of the most significant examples of what we've been doing through this Nuclear Security Summit, and what our three countries have been able to accomplish through some painstaking cooperation over the last several years.   As President of Kazakhstan indicated, this was a major site for nuclear operations during the Cold War.  There was a lot of loose nuclear material that was vulnerable to potential smugglers, to potential infiltration.  And as a consequence of extraordinary cooperation between our three countries that actually predates my administration, but was accelerated as a consequence of this Nuclear Security Summit, we've been able to effectively lock down and secure all this vulnerable material.   So we have been able to do this in part because of the outstanding leadership of President Nazarbayev and the people of Kazakhstan.  We've also been able to do it because the United States and Russia over the last several years have shown ourselves to have a mutual interest in making sure that nuclear materials are secured and that they do not fall into the wrong hands.   And so this kind of multilateral cooperation is being duplicated as a consequence of this Nuclear Security Summit.  And it gives you a specific example of the kind of progress that we're making.  We're going to need to make more progress over the next several years.  But I am confident that we can actually meet the goal that we set in the first Washington summit, which is in four years to have made extraordinary progress in making sure that loose nuclear material is not vulnerable to smuggling or to potential terrorist plots.   PRESIDENT MEDVEDEV:  (As interpreted.)  Summits are held not only to conduct meetings, not only to shake hands, not only to declare good goals, but it is also held to demonstrate examples concrete examples of cooperation.  I believe that this is precisely one of such concrete examples.    From 2004, the three countries -- United States, Kazakhstan and Russia -- have been cooperating to eliminate the remnants of the past activities within the territory of the Semipalatinsk test site.  We were all aware of the threat coming from the test site.  And at the moment, now, we can state with confidence that all the threats have been liquidated, and that the Semipalatinsk test site can now develop in a new capacity.  The country of Kazakhstan can look into the future.  So I believe that this is a good example of practical cooperation that should be highlighted.   I would like to thank my partners, in particular President of Kazakhstan Nazarbayev, for his proactive stance and for creating favorable conditions to accomplish those goals.  The Russian Federation and the United States are precisely those countries which have a special responsibility for ensuring nuclear security of the world, and they managed to join efforts in this good example of cooperation.    Although we're aware that the situation we had was the result of the mindset of the past that countries had, we managed to show this good example of cooperation, and such example I believe should multiply, should be reproduced, and should also lead other countries to ensure nuclear security.   PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Thank you very much.   Q    , can I ask you quickly about the open mic?  Can you clarify what you meant by having flexibility on missile defense in a second term, what you wanted to have passed on to Mr. Putin?  And isn't it presumptuous to be talking about a second term?   PRESIDENT OBAMA:  First of all, are the mics on?    Look, what I said yesterday, Ben, is I think something that everybody in this room understands, which is -- I'll just go ahead and then you can translate at the end.   Arms control is extraordinarily complex, very technical, and the only way it gets done is if you can consult and build a strong basis of understanding both between countries as well as within countries.  And when you think about the New Start Treaty that Dmitry and I were able to hammer out and ultimately get ratified, that was a painstaking two-year process.  I don't think it's any surprise that you can't start that a few months before a presidential and congressional elections in the United States, and at a time when they just completed elections in Russia and they're in the process of a presidential transition where a new president is going to be coming in in a little less than two months.   So it was a very simple point, and one that essentially I repeated when I spoke to you guys yesterday, which is that we're going to spend the next nine, 10 months trying to work through some of the technical aspects of how we get past what is a major point of friction -- one of the primary points of friction between our two countries, which is this whole missile defense issue.  And it involves a lot of complicated issues.  If we can get our technical teams to clear out the underbrush, then hopefully, in 2013, there's a foundation to actually make some significant progress on this and a lot of other bilateral issues.   So I think everybody understands that -- if they haven't they haven't been listening to my speeches -- I want to reduce our nuclear stockpiles.  And one of the barriers to doing that is building trust and cooperation around missile defense issues.  And so this is not a matter of hiding the ball, I'm on record.  I made a speech about it to a whole bunch of Korean university students yesterday.  I want to see us, over time, gradually, systematically, reduce reliance on nuclear weapons.   And as Dmitry said, the United States and Russia, because of our history and because we are nuclear superpowers, have a special obligation.  That doesn't make it easy, because both countries are committed to their sovereignty and their defense.   And last point I'll make -- the only way I get this stuff done is if I'm consulting with the Pentagon, if I'm consulting with Congress, if I've got bipartisan support.  And frankly, the current environment is not conducive to those kinds of thoughtful consultations.  I think the stories you guys have been writing over the last 24 hours is probably pretty good evidence of that. I think we'll do better in 2013.   All right.  Thanks, guys.   END                     12:16 P.M. KST
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March 27, 2012
And my expectation is, is that as a consequence of the review that’s taking place in Pakistan as well as the work that we’re doing on the American side, that we can achieve the kind of balanced approach that respects Pakistan’s sovereignty, but also it respects our concerns with respect to our national security and our needs to battle terrorists who have targeted us in the past.
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March 27, 2012
And finally, I want to express my thanks for his participation in this conference, because I think that we all agree that given the threats that have been directed in Pakistan, the terrorism that has taken place on their own soil, and obviously our experiences with terrorism, we can’t afford to have non-state actors, terrorists, get their hands on nuclear weapons that could end up destroying our cities or harming our citizens.  So, Mr. Prime Minister, of course, I very much appreciate you being here.  And, please.
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March 30, 2012
Change is the fact that for the first time in nine years, there are no Americans fighting in Iraq.    We refocused our efforts on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11.  And thanks to the brave men and women in uniform,
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March 30, 2012
That's why we followed through and ended the war in Iraq.  That's why we followed through and targeted al Qaeda.    That's why, with Osama bin Laden gone and al Qaeda weakened, we've been able to start ramping down our involvement in Afghanistan and provide transition, so that Afghans can take control of their own country.  That's why we ended torture, and we put our fight against terrorism on a legal footing.  And that's why we worked to restore our respect around the world.
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March 30, 2012
And change is keeping another promise I made in 2008 -- for the first time in nine years, we don’t have any Americans fighting in Iraq.    We refocused our efforts on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11.  And thanks to our brave men and women in uniform, al Qaeda is weaker than ever before and and Osama bin Laden is no more.  We’ve begun to transition in Afghanistan to put them into the lead.  We are starting to bring our troops home.  That’s what change is.  That happened because of you. 
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April 27, 2012
For me, as President, it’s been a top priority.  It’s something I worked on as a senator when I served on the Veterans Affairs Committee.  It’s something I continue to this day.  Since I took office, we’ve hired over 200,000 veterans to serve in the federal government. 
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April 27, 2012
I’m not going to be satisfied not just with getting our troops home from Afghanistan, but making sure -- as we talked about today down in Fort Stewart -- that every single one of our veterans have the capacity to rebuild this country the same way my grandfather had and his generation had the capacity to rebuild the country when they came back from World War II.
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April 27, 2012
And when my mom needed help with us, my grandparents stepped up.  And my grandmother, in particular, who had a high school education, worked during World War II on a bomber assembly line like Rosie the Riveter.  And she didn't get a GI Bill -- unlike today’s Post-9/11 GI Bill, it couldn’t be transferred to family members.  So she got jobs, and eventually she got a job at a local bank.
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April 27, 2012
Listen, and as you just heard, when it comes to all of you -- when it comes to our military, our veterans, your families –- Michelle Obama and Jill Biden have your back.  They are working tirelessly to make sure that our military families are treated with the honor and respect and support that they deserve.  And I could not be prouder of all the efforts that they’ve been making on their behalf.  It’s a privilege to hang out with some of America’s finest.
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April 27, 2012
The ‘Dog Face Soldiers’ of the Third Infantry Division!    Rock of the Marne!  We’ve got a lot of folks in the house.  We’ve got the Raider Brigade!  (Hooah!)  We’ve got the Spartan Brigade!  (Hooah!)  We’ve got the Vanguard Brigade!  (Hooah!)  We’ve got the Provider Brigade!  (Hooah!)  And we’ve got the Falcon Brigade!  (Hooah!)
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April 27, 2012
I want to thank Command Sergeant Major Edd Watson and his beautiful wife, Sharon.    I want to thank someone who’s made it her life’s mission to stand up for the financial security of you and your families, somebody who knows a little bit about military families and military service.  And actually, this is a homecoming for her because she spent over three years when they were posted down here -- Holly Petraeus is in the house.  I want you guys to give her a big round of applause. 
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April 27, 2012
But most importantly, I want to thank all of you.  I want to thank you for your service.  I want to thank you for your sacrifice.  I want to thank you for your unshakeable commitment to our country.  You have worn the uniform with honor.  You’ve performed heroically in some of the most dangerous places on Earth.  You have done everything that has been asked of you, and more.  And you have earned a special place in our nation’s history.
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April 27, 2012
So history will remember what you did, and so will we.  We will remember the profound sacrifices that you’ve made in these wars.  Michelle and I just had a few moments at the Warriors Walk, paying tribute to 441 of your fallen comrades -- men and women who gave their last full measure of devotion to keep our nation safe.  And we will remember them.  We will honor them -- always.  And our thoughts and prayers also go out to the troops from Fort Stewart who are serving so bravely right now as we speak in Afghanistan.    And I know many of you will be deploying there, too, so you know you’re going to be in our thoughts and prayers. Your generation -- the 9/11 Generation -- has written one of the greatest chapters of military service that America has ever seen.  But I know that for many of you, a new chapter is unfolding.  The war in Iraq is over.  The transition in Afghanistan is underway.  Many of our troops are coming home, back to civilian life.  And as you return, I know that you’re looking for new jobs and new opportunities and new ways to serve this great country of ours.
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April 27, 2012
We’ve made it easier for veterans to access all sorts of employment services.  You just heard how Michelle and Jill have worked with businesses to secure tens of thousands of jobs for veterans and their families.  And with support from Democrats and Republicans, we’ve put in place new tax credits for companies that hire veterans.  We want every veteran who wants a job to get a job.  That’s the goal. 
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April 27, 2012
Like General Abrams’ dad, my grandfather -- the man who helped raise me -— served in Patton’s Army.  And when he came home, he went to school on the GI Bill, because America decided that every returning veteran of World War II should be able to afford it.  And we owe that same commitment to all of you.
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April 27, 2012
This is about making sure you succeed -- because when you succeed, our country succeeds.  It’s that simple.  After all, at the end of World War II, so many Americans like my grandfather came home to new opportunities.  Because of the original GI Bill, by 1947, half of all Americans who enrolled in college were veterans.  And you know what, they did pretty well.
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April 27, 2012
One of my greatest privileges as First Lady has been meeting folks like you on bases and communities all across this country.  And I always say this, but I can never say it enough:  I am in awe of you.  I'm in awe of how many of you signed up to defend our country in a time of war, serving heroically through deployment after deployment.  I'm in awe of your families -- the spouses who run their households all alone, the kids who step up at home and succeed at school and stay strong through all the challenges they face.  With their service, they make your service possible.
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April 27, 2012
And I'm also in awe of our veterans -- because I know that your service doesn’t end when you hang up your uniform.  For so many of you, your whole life is a tour of duty, and as you become leaders in our communities and continue to give back to our country, you keep serving.  And like so many Americans, the more I've learned about the sacrifices you all make, the more I wanted to find a way to express my gratitude, and that’s -- not just with words, but with action.
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April 27, 2012
He's made veteran's employment a national priority, with tax breaks for businesses that hire veterans and wounded warriors.  He's working to end the outrage of veteran's homelessness once and for all. He championed the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which has helped more than half a million veterans and military families go to college.  And today, with this new effort to ensure that you all get the education you've earned, that story continues.
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April 30, 2012
Second, our joint vision commits us to deepening our trade and investment.  We’re already among each other’s top trading partners, and our exports to Japan and Japanese companies here in the U.S. support more than 1 million American jobs.  But there’s more we can do, especially as we work to double U.S. exports.  So I appreciate the Prime Minister updating me on his reform efforts in Japan, including liberalizing trade and playing a leading role in Asia Pacific’s economy.  We instructed our teams to continue our consultation regarding Japan’s interest in joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would benefit both our economies and the region.  And we agreed to deepen our cooperation on nuclear safety, clean energy and cyber security to enhance our economic competitiveness.   Third, our joint vision lays out the future we seek in the Asia Pacific -- a region where international rules and norms are upheld, where nations contribute to regional security, where commerce and freedom of navigation is not impeded and where disputes are resolved peacefully.  As such, we continue our close consultations on the provocative actions of North Korea, which are a sign of weakness and not strength, and only serve to deepen Pyongyang’s isolation.  And we discussed the changes underway in Burma and how our two nations can both reward progress there while encouraging more reforms that improve the lives of the Burmese people.
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April 30, 2012
To cope with such conditions we are determined, as spelled out in the shared vision, to realize the new U.S. forces realignment plan in accordance with the Security Consultative Committee, or 2-plus-2, joint statement released the other day and to step up bilateral security and defense cooperation in a creative manner.
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April 30, 2012
Now, although bin Laden has been killed, terrorism has not been rooted out, and I think continued efforts will be needed in cooperation with the United States.  We also would like to continue all our efforts against terrorism.  I think the forms of terrorism are being very diverse -- amongst them, cyber terrorism, for example.  This (inaudible) between Japan and the United States not just in the cyber -- in the space and ocean, but we also decided to cooperate in cyber security as well.  So inclusive of all these, Japan and the United States shall work together to root out terrorism of all sorts.
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May 20, 2012
At this summit, we anticipate not only ratifying the plan for moving forward in Afghanistan -- a transition process that will bring the war to an end at the end of 2014 and put Afghans in the lead for their own security -- but we’re also going to be talking about the progress that we’ve made in expanding NATO’s defense capabilities -- ensuring that every NATO member has a stake and is involved and integrated in our mutual defense efforts.
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May 20, 2012
As Anders mentioned, so many people here in Chicago trace their roots back to NATO countries.  So it’s especially fitting that Chicago is the first American city outside of Washington, D.C. ever to host a NATO Summit.  Given the moment of silence we just observed, I also want to take the opportunity to salute Admiral Stavidris, General Abrial, General Allen, and all of our men and women who are serving in uniform on our behalf, and especially those who are serving today in Afghanistan.
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May 20, 2012
When we last met in Lisbon, we agreed to a bold plan of action to revitalize the alliance and ensure that we have the tools that are required to confront a changing and uncertain strategic landscape.  Here, at this session, we can reaffirm our Article V commitment to our collective defense and to investing in the defense capabilities and new technologies that meet our collective security needs.
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May 21, 2012
9:24 A.M. CDT     Well, good morning, everyone.  And for those who are joining us for the first time, welcome to Chicago.  I was just hearing from a few folks who are not NATO members that they had fun on the town last night.  Hopefully, no stories in the press.      We come together as 50 nations -- NATO allies and partners -- that make up the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.  I want to welcome the presence of President Karzai, as well as officials from central Asia and Russia -- nations that have an important perspective and that continue to provide critical transit for ISAF supplies.   The presence of so many leaders and nations illustrates once again that this is a truly international mission, and that’s because the region and the world have a profound interest in an Afghanistan that is stable, that is secure, and that is not a source of attacks on other nations.  And today, as always, our thoughts are with our brave forces who are serving in this vital mission.   Two years ago, in Lisbon, our nations agreed on a framework for transition in Afghanistan that would allow us to responsibly wind down the war.  We agreed that this transition to Afghan lead for security would begin in 2011 and that it would conclude in 2014.  At the same time, we said that we would seek a long-term partnership with Afghanistan and the Afghan people.   Over the past two years, we’ve made important progress.  Our forces broke the Taliban’s momentum.  More Afghans are reclaiming their communities.  Afghan security forces have grown stronger.  And the transition that we agreed to in Lisbon is well underway.   This past week we saw more progress.  We very much welcomed President Karzai’s announcement to the third group of areas to begin transition.  This means that 75 percent of the Afghan people live in areas where Afghan forces will be moving into the lead.    Today, we’ll decide the next phase of the transition -- the next milestone.  We’ll set a goal for Afghan forces to take the lead for combat operations across the country in 2013 -- next year -- so that ISAF can move to a supporting role.  This will be another step toward Afghans taking full lead for their security as agreed to by 2014 when the ISAF combat mission will end.   Today is also an opportunity to ensure our hard-won progress is preserved.  The Strategic Partnership Agreement that President Karzai and I signed in Kabul ensures that as Afghans stand up they will not stand alone.  Today, we can agree on NATO’s long-term relationship with Afghanistan beyond 2014, including our support of Afghan security forces.   So we have a lot of work to do.  Again, I want to thank all of my fellow leaders and our partners for being here.  Our nations and the world have a vital interest in the success of this mission.  And I am confident, because of the leadership represented here as well as the leadership of our outstanding armed forces, that we can advance that goal today and responsibly bring this war to an end.
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May 21, 2012
First, we reached agreement on a series of steps to strengthen the alliance’s defense capabilities over the next decade.  In keeping with the strategic concept we agreed to in Lisbon and in order to fulfill our Article Five commitment to our collective security, we agreed to acquire a fleet of remotely piloted aircraft, drones, to strengthen intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.  We agreed to continue air patrols over our Baltic allies, which reflects our unwavering commitment to collective defense.  We also agreed on a mix of conventional nuclear missile and missile defense forces that we need, and importantly, we agreed on how to pay for them and that includes pooling our resources in these difficult economic times.
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May 21, 2012
We’re moving forward with missile defense, and agreed that NATO is declaring an interim capability for the system.  America’s contribution to this effort will be a phased adaptive approach that we’re pursuing on European missile defense.  And I want to commend our allies who are stepping up and playing a leadership role in missile defense, as well.  Our defense radar in Turkey will be placed under NATO control.  Spain, Romania and Poland have agreed to host key U.S. assets.  The Netherlands will be upgrading radars, and we look forward to contributions from other allies.  Since this system is neither aimed at nor undermines Russia’s strategic deterrent, I continue to believe that missile defense can be an area of cooperation with Russia.
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May 21, 2012
Second, we’re now unified behind a plan to responsibly wind down the war in Afghanistan, a plan that trains Afghan security forces, transitions to the Afghans and builds a partnership that can endure after our combat mission in Afghanistan ends.  Since last year, we’ve been transitioning parts of Afghanistan to the Afghan National Security Forces and that has enabled our troops to start coming home.  Indeed, we’re in the process of drawing down 33,000 U.S. troops by the end of this summer.
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May 21, 2012
This will not mark the end of Afghanistan’s challenges, obviously, or our partnership with that important country.  But we are making substantial progress against our core objective of defeating al Qaeda and denying it safe haven, while helping the Afghans to stand on their own.  And we leave Chicago with a clear roadmap.  Our coalition is committed to this plan to bring our war in Afghanistan to a responsible end.
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May 21, 2012
Finally, NATO agreed to deepen its cooperation with partners that have been critical to alliance operations, as in Afghanistan and Libya.  Today’s meeting was unprecedented, Our 28 allies, joined by 13 nations from around the world -- Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia.  Each of these countries has contributed to NATO operations in different ways -- military, political, financial -- and each wants to see us do more together.  To see the breadth of those countries represented in that room is to see how NATO has truly become a hub of global security.
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May 21, 2012
But I think one of the things that we’ve learned from the Afghanistan experience is for us to stay focused on the counterterrorism issue, to work with the government, to not overextend ourselves, to operate smartly in dealing with these issues.  And it’s not unique to Yemen, by the way.  I mean we’ve got similar problems in Somalia, what’s happening now in Mali and the Sahel.  And so this is part of the reason why not only is NATO important, but these partnerships that we’re establishing is important because there are going to be times where these partners have more effective intelligence operations, more diplomatic contacts, et cetera in some of these parts of the world where the state is a little wobbly and you may see terrorists attempting to infiltrate or set up bases.
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May 21, 2012
Let me take the second question first.  I mean, I think that one of the things that I emphasize whenever I’m talking to John Allen or the Joint Chiefs or any of the officers who are in Afghanistan is -- I can’t afford a white wash.  I can’t afford not getting the very best information in order to make good decisions.  I should add, by the way, that the danger a lot of times is not that anybody is purposely trying to downplay challenges in Afghanistan.  A lot of times it’s just the military culture is we can get it done.  And so, their thinking is, how are we going to solve this problem, not boy, why is this such a disaster?  That’s part of the reason why we admire our military so much and we love our troops, because they’ve got that can-do spirit.
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May 23, 2012
Today we pay tribute to all our extraordinary men and women in uniform for their bravery, for their dedication.  Those who gave their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan to make this progress possible -— including 16 graduates of this Academy -- we honor them.  We will always honor them.
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May 23, 2012
And as our newest veterans rejoin civilian life, we will never stop working to give them the benefits and opportunities that they have earned -- because our veterans have the skills to help us rebuild America, and we have to serve them as well as they have served us. 
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May 23, 2012
That's why we're so proud we're building that VA hospital right here in Denver.    And our congressional delegation helped to make that happen.
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May 23, 2012
America is safer and more respected because of the courage and the selflessness of the U.S. armed forces.  I was just at the Air Force Academy, shaking 1,100 hands -- (laughter and applause) -- giving 1,100 salutes.  And as long as I am Commander-in-Chief, this country will care for our veterans.    We will care and serve our veterans the way they've served us -- because no veteran should have to fight for a job when they come home, or fight for a roof over their heads. 
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May 23, 2012
So what does all this mean?  When you came here four years ago, there were some 180,000 American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.  We’ve now cut that number by more than half.  And as more Afghans step up, more of our troops will come home -— while achieving the objective that led us to war in the first place and that is defeating al Qaeda and denying them safe haven. So we aren’t just ending these wars, we are doing so in a way that makes us safer and stronger.
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May 23, 2012
For a decade, we have labored under the dark cloud of war.  And now, we can see a light -- the light of a new day on the horizon.  So the end of these wars will shape your service and it will make our military stronger.  Ten years of continuous military operations have stretched our forces and strained their families.  Going forward, you’ll face fewer deployments.  You’ll have more time to train and stay ready.  That means you’ll be better prepared for the full range of missions you face.
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May 23, 2012
Of course, the world stage is not a popularity contest.  As a nation, we have vital interests, and we will do what is necessary always to defend this country we love -- even if it’s unpopular.  But make no mistake, how we’re viewed in the world has consequences -- for our national security and for your lives.
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May 23, 2012
I see an American Century because you are part of the finest, most capable military the world has ever known.  No other nation even comes close.  Yes, as today’s wars end, our military -- and our Air Force -- will be leaner.  But as Commander-in-Chief, I will not allow us to make the mistakes of the past.  We still face very serious threats.  As we’ve seen in recent weeks, with al Qaeda in Yemen, there are still terrorists who seek to kill our citizens.  So we need you to be ready for the full range of threats.  From the conventional to the unconventional, from nations seeking weapons of mass destruction to the cell of terrorists planning the next attack, from the old danger of piracy to the new threat of cyber, we must be vigilant.
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May 23, 2012
I see an American Century because we have the strongest alliances of any nation.  From Europe to Asia, our alliances are the foundation of global security.  In Libya, all 28 NATO allies played a role and we were joined by partners in the air from Sweden to the Gulf states.  In Afghanistan, we’re in a coalition of 50 allies and partners.  Today, Air Force personnel are serving in 135 nations -- partnering, training, building their capacity.  This is how peace and security will be upheld in the 21st century -- more nations bearing the costs and responsibilities of leadership.  And that’s good for America.  It’s good for the world.  And we’re at the hub of it, making it happen.
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May 24, 2012
We’ve doubled fuel-efficiency standards on cars.  We have doubled the amount of clean energy that we’re producing.  We’ve still got a long way to go to have the kind of energy strategy that we need.  But we actually have seen our imports of foreign oil drop down under 50 percent, the lowest that it’s been in 15 years.  And through not only the production of clean energy, but massive investments in energy efficiency, we’ve got a chance to get control of our energy future in a way that is good for our economy, good for our national security and is good for our environment and we can start tackling climate change in a serious way and lead the world on that issue.
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May 24, 2012
Fourth thing, we have done a whole lot to make sure that those men and women who have served us in Iraq and Afghanistan, that we are serving them as well as they’ve served us -- treating them with the honor and respect that they have earned when they come home.    So we put together the Post-9/11 GI Bill so they’re able to go back and get some training and skills.  We mobilized the private sector to hire more veterans and give them the private sector incentives to hire more veterans.
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May 24, 2012
But there's another thing we can do.  Congress should create what we're calling a Veterans Jobs Corps, so that we can help communities across America put our returning heroes back to work as police officers and firefighters and park rangers.  Nobody who fought for our country overseas should have to fight for a job when they come back home.  We've still got too much unemployment among our veterans. 
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May 24, 2012
America is safer and stronger and more respected around the world because of the courage and selflessness of the U.S. armed forces, because of their outstanding service.    And as long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, this country will care for our veterans and serve our veterans as well as they’ve served us.    They shouldn’t have to fight for a job when they come home.  They shouldn’t be fighting homelessness when they come home.  We need to look after them.  That’s what we’ve done for the last three and a half years.  And I want to keep on doing it as long as I’m President of the United States of America. 
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May 24, 2012
And this is another place where my opponent has different ideas.  He said ending the war was "tragic" -- in Iraq.  He won’t set a timeline for ending the war in Afghanistan.  I have.  And I intend to keep it.  It’s the right thing to do for our country -- because after a decade of war that’s cost us thousands of lives and over a trillion dollars, the nation we need to build is our own.
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May 24, 2012
And all this was made possible because of the courage and selflessness of our men and women in uniform -- which is why, on Memorial Day, we're going to remember them.  And I'm going to actually be talking especially about our Vietnam vets.  They weren't honored the way they were supposed to when they came home.    And we're not going to make that mistake again.  So as long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, this country will care for our veterans and serve them as well as they’ve served us.    Because no one who fights for this country should have to fight for a job, or a roof over their heads when they come home.    That’s why I'm running for President.
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May 28, 2012
We can remember Jay Aubin, the pilot, who met his wife on an aircraft carrier, and told his mother before shipping out, "If anything happens to me, just know I’m doing what I love."
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May 28, 2012
Fifty years later, we come to this wall -- to this sacred place -- to remember.  We can step towards its granite wall and reach out, touch a name.  Today is Memorial Day, when we recall all those who gave everything in the darkness of war so we could stand here in the glory of spring.  And today begins the 50th commemoration of our war in Vietnam.  We honor each of those names etched in stone -- 58,282 American patriots.  We salute all who served with them.  And we stand with the families who love them still.
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May 28, 2012
And one of the most painful chapters in our history was Vietnam -- most particularly, how we treated our troops who served there.  You were often blamed for a war you didn’t start, when you should have been commended for serving your country with valor.    You were sometimes blamed for misdeeds of a few, when the honorable service of the many should have been praised.  You came home and sometimes were denigrated, when you should have been celebrated.  It was a national shame, a disgrace that should have never happened.  And that's why here today we resolve that it will not happen again. 
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May 28, 2012
As a nation, we've long celebrated the courage of our forces at Normandy and Iwo Jima, the Pusan Perimeter and Heartbreak Ridge.  So let us also speak of your courage -- at Hue and Khe Sanh, at Tan Son Nhut and Saigon, from Hamburger Hill to Rolling Thunder.  All too often it's forgotten that you, our troops in Vietnam, won every major battle you fought in. 
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May 28, 2012
You reminded us what it was like to serve, what it meant to serve.  Those of you who stayed in uniform, you rose through the ranks, became leaders in every service, learned from your experience in Vietnam and rebuilt our military into the finest force that the world has ever known.    And let’s remember all those Vietnam veterans who came back and served again -- in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  You did not stop serving. 
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May 28, 2012
Even as you succeeded in all these endeavors, you did something more -- maybe the most important thing you did -- you looked after each other.  When your government didn’t live up to its responsibilities, you spoke out -- fighting for the care and benefits you had earned, and, over time, transforming the VA.  And, of course, one of these Vietnam veterans is now our outstanding Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Ric Shinseki. 
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May 28, 2012
Because of you, because our Vietnam veterans led the charge, the Post-9/11 GI Bill is helping hundreds of thousands of today’s veterans go to college and pursue their dreams.    Because of you, because you didn’t let us forget, at our airports, our returning troops get off the airplane and you are there to shake their hands.    Because of you, across America, communities have welcomed home our forces from Iraq.  And when our troops return from Afghanistan, America will give this entire 9/11 Generation the welcome home they deserve.  That happened in part because of you. 
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May 28, 2012
This is the story of our Vietnam servicemembers -- the story that needs to be told.  This is what this 50th anniversary is all about.  It’s another opportunity to say to our Vietnam veterans what we should have been saying from the beginning:  You did your job.  You served with honor.  You made us proud.  You came home and you helped build the America that we love and that we cherish.
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May 28, 2012
Today, we’re calling on all Americans, and every segment of our society, to join this effort.  Everybody can do something.  Five decades removed from a time of division among Americans, this anniversary can remind us of what we share as Americans.  That includes honoring our Vietnam veterans by never forgetting the lessons of that war.
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May 28, 2012
Let us resolve to never forget the costs of war, including the terrible loss of innocent civilians -- not just in Vietnam, but in all wars.  For we know that while your sacrifice and service is the very definition of glory, war itself is not glorious.  We hate war.  When we fight, we do so to protect ourselves because it's necessary.
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May 28, 2012
Let’s resolve to take care of our veterans as well as they’ve taken care of us -- not just talk, but actions.  Not just in the first five years after a war, but the first five decades. For our Vietnam veterans, this means the disability benefits for diseases connected to Agent Orange.  It means job opportunities and mental health care to help you stand tall again.  It means ending the tragedy of veterans' homelessness, so that every veteran who has fought for America has a home in America.  You shouldn’t have to fight for a roof over your heads when you fought on behalf of the country that you love. 
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May 28, 2012
And when an American does not come back -- including the 1,666 Americans still missing from the Vietnam War -- let us resolve to do everything in our power to bring them home.  This is our solemn promise to mothers like Sarah Shay who joins us today, 93 years old, who has honored her son, Major Donald Shay, Jr., missing in action for 42 years.  There she is.  Sarah, thank you for your courage.  God bless you. 
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May 28, 2012
Some have called this war era a scar on our country, but here’s what I say.  As any wound heals, the tissue around it becomes tougher, becomes stronger than before.  And in this sense, finally, we might begin to see the true legacy of Vietnam. Because of Vietnam and our veterans, we now use American power smarter, we honor our military more, we take care of our veterans better.  Because of the hard lessons of Vietnam, because of you, America is even stronger than before. 
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May 28, 2012
Veterans, families of the Vietnam War, I know the wounds of war are slow to heal.  You know that better than most.  But today we take another step.  The task of telling your story continues. The work of perfecting our Union goes on.  And decades from now, I hope another young American will visit this place and reach out and touch a name.  And she’ll learn the story of servicemembers  -- people she never met, who fought a war she never knew -- and in that moment of understanding and of gratitude and of grace, your legacy will endure.  For you are all true heroes and you will all be remembered.
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May 28, 2012
Thank you very much.  Please be seated.  Good morning, everybody.  Thank you, Secretary Panetta, for your introduction and for your incredible service to our country.  To General Dempsey, Major General Linnington, Kathryn Condon, Chaplain Berry, all of you who are here today -- active duty, veterans, family and friends of the fallen -- thank you for allowing me the privilege of joining you in this sacred place to commemorate Memorial Day.
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May 28, 2012
Together, your footsteps trace the path of our history.  And this Memorial Day, we mark another milestone.  For the first time in nine years, Americans are not fighting and dying in Iraq.    We are winding down the war in Afghanistan, and our troops will continue to come home.    After a decade under the dark cloud of war, we can see the light of a new day on the horizon.
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May 28, 2012
To the families here today, I repeat what I said to the Hickmans:  I cannot begin to fully understand your loss.  As a father, I cannot begin to imagine what it’s like to hear that knock on the door and learn that your worst fears have come true. But as Commander-In-Chief, I can tell you that sending our troops into harm’s way is the most wrenching decision that I have to make.  I can promise you I will never do so unless it's absolutely necessary, and that when we do, we must give our troops a clear mission and the full support of a grateful nation.    And as a country, all of us can and should ask ourselves how we can help you shoulder a burden that nobody should have to bear alone.  As we honor your mothers and fathers, your sons and daughters, we have given -- who have given their last full measure of devotion to this country, we have to ask ourselves how can we support you and your families and give you some strength?
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May 28, 2012
To all our men and women in uniform who are here today, know this:  The patriots who rest beneath these hills were fighting for many things -- for their families, for their flag -- but above all, they were fighting for you.  As long as I’m President, we will make sure you and your loved ones receive the benefits you’ve earned and the respect you deserve.  America will be there for you. 
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May 29, 2012
Madeleine Korbel Albright.  Madeleine Korbel Albright broke barriers and left an indelible mark on the world as the first female Secretary of State in the United States’ history.  Through her consummate diplomacy and steadfast democratic ideals, Secretary Albright advanced peace in the Middle East, nuclear arms control, justice in the Balkans, and human rights around the world.  With unwavering leadership and continued engagement with the global community, she continues her noble pursuit of freedom and dignity for all people.
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May 30, 2012
Fifth -- and I’m going to speak to this on Friday -- Congress should create a Veterans Job Corps so we can put our returning heroes back to work as cops and firefighters and park rangers.  We just observed Memorial Day, an extraordinarily moving Memorial Day -- we were down at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial commemorating 50 years since that difficult and challenging war.  And one thing we learned from that was that we’ve got to treat our heroes with the respect and dignity that they have earned.
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May 31, 2012
The same is true for our national security.  None of us will ever forget where we were on that terrible September day when our country was attacked.  All of us will always remember the image of President Bush standing on that pile of rubble, bullhorn in hand, conveying extraordinary strength and resolve to the American people but also representing the strength and resolve of the American people.
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June 22, 2012
Second, under my plan, we’re going to move towards a future where we control our own energy.  That’s something that’s good for our economy, good for our environment, good for our national security.  So we need to end government subsidies to oil companies -- they’re making a lot of money on their own.  Let’s double -- on wind power and solar power, biofuels and fuel-efficient cars. I want to put in place a new standard that makes clean energy the profitable kind of energy for every business in America.
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June 25, 2012
You can decide whether we keep our brave men and women in Afghanistan indefinitely, as Mr. Romney proposes, or whether we stick to the timeline that I established that allows us to finally bring our troops home.  That’s your decision. 
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June 25, 2012
I’m running so that after a decade of war, we can start doing some nation-building here at home.    So we've ended the war in Iraq.  We are transitioning in Afghanistan.  My plan would take half the money we’re no longer spending on war, use it to put people back to work rebuilding our roads and our runways and our ports and our wireless networks.    That’s the choice in this election.
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June 25, 2012
I’m running so that we have a future where we control our own energy.  That’s good for our economy, it's good for our national security, it's good for our planet.  We need to end subsidies for oil companies that are making plenty of money on their own, and double down on a clean energy industry that’s never been more promising -- in wind power and solar power, and biofuels and fuel-efficient cars. 
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June 26, 2012
I ended the war in Iraq, as I promised.  We are winding down the war in Afghanistan.  I want to take half the money we’re no longer spending on war and put it to use putting people back to work rebuilding our roads and our runways and our ports and our wireless networks.  That’s the choice in this election. 
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June 26, 2012
And then, as you know I promised in 2008, I would end the war in Iraq -- we ended it.    We're phasing down the war in Afghanistan.  And I want to take half of those savings, pay down the deficit, and take the other half and let's start doing some nation-building right here at home -- putting folks back to work rebuilding our infrastructure all across the country. 
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June 27, 2012
I want to say a special welcome not only to the members of Congress, but most importantly to their families -- because Michelle reminds me every day how difficult it is to be married to a politician.    And the sacrifices that all of you make -- the birthday parties that get missed, or the soccer games that you’re late to, the travel that keeps you away from your loved ones -- all of that obviously is in service of our country, and you guys are serving alongside those of us who hold elective office.  So we’re thrilled that you have at least one day where you got a chance to be together in Washington and nobody is arguing.
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June 29, 2012
I think what you see here is an example of outstanding coordination and cooperation between federal, state and local agencies. We have been putting everything we have into trying to deal with what’s one of the worst fires that we’ve seen here in Colorado. And it’s still early in the fire season, and we still got a lot more work to do. But because of the outstanding work that’s been done, because of not only the coordination but also some unprecedented arrangements that have been made with military resources combined with the civil resources, we’re starting to see progress.
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June 29, 2012
I think what you see here is an example of outstanding coordination and cooperation between federal, state and local agencies.  We have been putting everything we have into trying to deal with what’s one of the worst fires that we’ve seen here in Colorado.  And it’s still early in the fire season, and we still got a lot more work to do.  But because of the outstanding work that’s been done, because of not only the coordination but also some unprecedented arrangements that have been made with military resources combined with the civil resources, we’re starting to see progress.
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July 10, 2012
I thought about my grandparents whose service in World War II was rewarded -- when my grandfather came back from the war and my grandmother worked on a bomber assembly line -- and they were able to go to college on the GI Bill, buy their first house with an FHA loan. 
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July 10, 2012
And we’re going to help our vets -- we’re doing it.  We’ve actually increased veterans funding since I’ve been President higher than any time in 30 years. 
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July 10, 2012
I’m running because after a decade of war, we stopped and ended the war in Iraq, we’re transitioning out of Afghanistan, and now it’s time to do some nation-building here at home.    So I want to take about half the money we’re no longer spending on a war and let’s use it to put people back to work -- rebuilding our roads, rebuilding our runways, our ports, our wireless networks.  \
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July 13, 2012
So I would meet an elderly vet and I'd think about my grandfather who fought in World War II, and my grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly line during the war.  And I'd think about how, when my grandfather came back home, because of this country he was able to get an education on the GI Bill and they were able to buy their first home using an FHA loan.
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July 13, 2012
I’m running because our men and women in uniform have sacrificed so much.  We could not be prouder of them and we could not be prouder of our veterans.  And because of their efforts, I was able to keep my promise and end the war in Iraq.  And I now intend to transition out of Afghanistan and bring our troops home.    And what I said is, because of their outstanding work, we’ve been able to decimate al Qaeda and take out bin Laden.    And so now it’s time for us to take half of the money we were saving on war and pay down our deficit, and use the other half to do some nation-building here at home. 
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July 13, 2012
A couple of people I want to acknowledge.  First of all, please give Ricki a big round of applause.    We are so proud of her, not just for introducing me -- that's not that big a deal -- but her serving her country, first in uniform herself and then as a military spouse.  She is an example of what is best about America, and we could not be prouder of her.
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July 13, 2012
I am running for President because there are a lot of folks in Virginia who have served us in uniform with such bravery and dedication and patriotism -- and I want us to keep faith with our troops, and make sure that our veterans get the benefits that they have earned, and that military families like Ricki’s are getting the help that they need when their loved ones are fighting on our behalf. 
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July 14, 2012
So I’d meet an elderly veteran, and I think about my grandfather who fought in World War II, and my grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly line while he was away, even though they’d already had my mother. And I’d think about how when my grandfather came back from Europe, he was able to get a college education on the GI Bill, and how they’d buy their first home with the help of an FHA loan.
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July 14, 2012
And you know, four years ago I said I would end the war in Iraq. Because of our veterans, because of our outstanding men and women in uniform, we've been able to keep that promise. We're transitioning out of Afghanistan and starting to bring our troops home. So now my attitude is, after a decade of war, let's take half of those savings on war and let's use that to reduce our deficit. Let's use the other half to do some nation-building here at home. Let's put folks back to work rebuilding our roads and our bridges and our railroads and our schools, and putting broadband lines into rural communities all across America. That's how we build an economy that lasts.
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July 14, 2012
That's also, by the way, how we take care of our veterans. Now that they're coming home they shouldn’t have to fight for a job after they fought for us. And they should get the benefits that they've earned. So we'll be fighting any kind of cutbacks on veteran services. We've got to take care of folks who took care of us.
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July 16, 2012
I ended the war in Iraq as I promised.  We're winding down the war in Afghanistan.  We decimated al Qaeda.    Let's now take half the money we were spending on war and do some nation-building right here at home. 
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July 17, 2012
Now, Mr. Romney disagrees with me on this -- said it was "tragic" the way I ended the war in Iraq -- the way I ended the war in Iraq, doesn’t want to set a timetable for ending the war in Afghanistan. But, you know, I’m looking around this country and I know from our history, from world history, that no nation has always been stronger than its economy. That’s an issue of our national defense.
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July 17, 2012
In 2008, I said I’d end the war in Iraq.    Thanks to the brave men and women in uniform that serve us with such valor, I was able to keep that promise.    I said we’d go after bin Laden.    Thanks to our men and women in uniform, I kept that promise.    We are now winding down the war in Afghanistan and starting to bring our troops home. 
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July 19, 2012
I'm running because in 2008, I promised to end the war in Iraq -- and thanks to our outstanding men and women in uniform, we kept that promise.    It’s time to do some nation-building here at home.    America is safer and more respected because of the selflessness of our troops.  Not only did we end the war in Iraq, we've been able to go after al Qaeda and get bin Laden.    We have set a timeline to end the war in Afghanistan.  And as long as I'm Commander-in-Chief, this country will care for our veterans and serve our veterans as well as they've served us.    Nobody who fights for this country should have to fight for a job or a roof over their heads when they come home. 
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July 19, 2012
I’m running because after a decade of war, it’s time for us to do some nation-building here at home.    America is safer and more respected because of the unbelievable service of our troops.  And because of their efforts, we ended the war in Iraq, as I promised.    We’ve been able to refocus on al Qaeda and those who caused 9/11, and we have decimated their leadership and taken out bin Laden.    We’ve been able to set a timeline to end the war in Afghanistan.
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July 19, 2012
Now, the good news is our alliances are stronger and our homeland is safer because of the courage of our Armed Forces.  But that also means that we’ve got to take care of our own responsibilities.  The idea that anybody who wore the uniform of the United States Armed Forces is homeless right now is unacceptable.    The notion that they should be fighting for a job or a roof over their heads after having fought for us is unacceptable.    And that’s why we are going to meet that sacred trust and make sure every veteran gets the care that they have earned and the services that they have earned.
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July 23, 2012
Veterans of Foreign Wars, in you I see the same shining values, the virtues that make America great.  When our harbor was bombed and fascism was on the march, when the fighting raged in Korea and Vietnam, when our country was attacked on that clear September morning, when our forces were sent to Iraq -- you answered your country’s call.  Because you know what Americans must always remember -- our nation only endures because there are patriots who protect it.
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July 23, 2012
In the crucible of battle, you were tested in ways the rest of us will never know.  You carry in your hearts the memory of the comrades you lost.  For you understand that we must honor our fallen heroes not just on Memorial Day, but all days.  And when an American goes missing, or is taken prisoner, we must do everything in our power to bring them home. 
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July 23, 2012
Even after you took off the uniform, you never stopped serving.  You took care of each other -- fighting for the benefits and care you had earned.  And you’ve taken care of the generations that followed, including our newest veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.  On behalf of all our men and women in uniform, and on behalf of the American people, I want to thank you, VFW.  Thank you for your outstanding work. 
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July 23, 2012
Of course, some among you -- our Vietnam veterans -- didn’t always receive that thanks, at least not on time.  This past Memorial Day, I joined some of you at The Wall to begin the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.  And it was another chance to say what should have been said all along:  You did your duty, and you made us proud.  And as this 50th anniversary continues, I’d ask all our Vietnam vets to stand, or raise your hand, as we say:  Thank you and welcome home. 
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July 23, 2012
Let’s keep taking care of our extraordinary military families.  For the first time ever, we’ve made military families and veterans a top priority not just at DOD, not just at the VA, but across the government.  As Richard mentioned, this has been a mission for my wife, Michelle, and Vice President Joe Biden’s wife, Dr. Jill Biden.  Today, more people across America in every segment of society are Joining Forces to give our military families the respect and the support that they deserve. 
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July 23, 2012
This leads me to another promise I made four years ago --  upholding America’s sacred trust with our veterans.  I promised to strengthen the VA, and that promise has been kept.  In my first year, we achieved the largest percentage increase in the VA budget in 30 years.  And we’re going to keep making historic investments in our veterans.  When Richard came to the Oval Office, we talked about what those automatic budget cuts -- sequestration -- could mean for the VA.  So my administration has made it clear:  Your veteran’s benefits are exempt from sequestration.  They are exempt.    And because advance appropriations is now the law of the land, veterans' health care is protected from the budget battles in Washington. 
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July 23, 2012
Of course, more veterans in the system means more claims.  So we’ve hired thousands of claims processors.  We’re investing in paperless systems.  To their credit, the dedicated folks at the VA are now completing one million claims a year.  But there’s been a tidal wave of new claims.  And when I hear about veterans waiting months, or years, for your benefits -- it is unacceptable.  And we are doing something about it. 
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July 23, 2012
We’re taking all those folks who processed your Agent Orange claims -- more than 1,200 experts -- and giving them a new mission:  Attack the backlog.  We’re prioritizing veterans with the most serious disabilities.  And the VA and DOD will work harder towards a seamless transition so new veterans aren’t just piled on to the backlog. And we will not rest -- I will not be satisfied until we get this right.  And today, I’m also calling on all those who help our vets complete their claims -- state VAs, physicians and veteran groups like the VFW -- to join us.  You know how this can work better, so let’s get it done, together.
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July 23, 2012
We’re also focused on the urgent needs of our veterans with PTSD.  We’ve poured tremendous resources into this fight -- thousands of more counselors and more clinicians, more care and more treatment.  And we've made it easier for veterans with PTSD to qualify for VA benefits.  But after a decade of war, it’s now an epidemic.  We’re losing more troops to suicide -- one every single day -- than we are in combat.  According to some estimates, about 18 veterans are taking their lives each day -- more every year than all the troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.  That's a tragedy.  It's heartbreaking.  It should not be happening in the United States of America.
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July 23, 2012
And this brings me to the last promise I want to discuss with you.  Four years ago, I said that I’d do everything I could to help our veterans realize the American Dream, to enlist you in building a stronger America.  After all, our veterans have the skills that America needs.  So today, our economy is growing and creating jobs, but it’s still too hard for too many folks to find work, especially our younger veterans, our veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.  And with a million more troops rejoining civilian life in the years ahead -- and looking for work -- we’ve got to step up our game, at every stage of their careers.
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July 23, 2012
So today, I’m announcing a major overhaul of our transition assistance program.  We’re going to set up a kind of "reverse boot camp" for our departing servicemembers.  Starting this year, they’ll get more personalized assistance as they plan their careers.  We’ll provide the training they need to find that job, or pursue that education, or start that business.  And just as they’ve maintained their military readiness, we’ll have new standards of "career readiness."
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July 23, 2012
We’re also fighting to get more vets hired in the private sector.  With new tools like our online Veterans Jobs Bank, we’re connecting veterans directly to jobs.  We’re helping thousands of veterans get certified for good-paying jobs in manufacturing.  We succeeded in passing tax credits for businesses that hire our veterans and our wounded warriors.  And this morning, I signed into law the Veteran Skills to Jobs Act -- making it easier for veterans to transfer their outstanding military skills into the licenses and credentials they need to get civilian jobs. 
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July 23, 2012
Last summer, I also challenged the private sector to hire or train 100,000 veterans or their spouses.  Michelle and Jill Biden have been leading the effort, through Joining Forces.  And so far, thousands of patriotic businesses have hired or trained more than 90,000 veterans and spouses.  And our message to companies is simple:  If you want somebody who gets the job done, then hire a vet.    Hire a vet.  Hire a vet and they will make you proud just like they’ve made America proud.
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July 24, 2012
I’m running because after a decade of war, I think it’s time for us to do some nation-building here at home.  That will grow our economy.    Because of the outstanding efforts of our men and women in uniform, we were able to end the war in Iraq, as I promised.    Because of their outstanding efforts, we were able to refocus on those who actually carried out the 9/11 attacks, and al Qaeda is on the run and we got bin Laden.    In Afghanistan, we’ve blunted the Taliban’s momentum and now we are beginning to transition so that Afghans are in the lead for their own security, and we are beginning to bring our troops home. 
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July 24, 2012
And so now the question is, what are they coming home to?  As long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, this country will serve and care for our veterans the same way that they served us -- because nobody who fought for American should have to fight for a job or a roof over their heads when they come home. 
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July 24, 2012
So I’d meet an elderly veteran, and he’d remind me of my grandfather who fought in World War II.  He was a man who grew up during the Depression and served his country, and when he came home was rewarded with a chance to go to college on the GI Bill.   And I think about my grandmother, who while my grandfather was gone, already had -- my mom was a baby -- and was Rosie the Riveter -- she worked on a bomber assembly line.    And when they married, after my grandfather came back they were able to get a home with the help of an FHA loan.
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July 24, 2012
I'm running because after a decade of war, it's time to do some nation-building here at home.    Because of the courage and the selflessness of our men and women in uniform, America is safer and more respected than before.  Because of their sacrifices, we've been able to end the war in Iraq, as I promised to do.    We've been able to refocus our efforts on those who actually carried out the 9/11 attacks, and gone after al Qaeda and bin Laden.    We have set a timetable to transition out of Afghanistan and are bringing our troops home. 
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July 24, 2012
And now as we wind down a decade of war, I want to make sure that this is country where we care for our veterans and serve our veterans as well as they've served us -- because they shouldn’t have to fight for a job or a roof over their heads when they've been fighting for us. 
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July 24, 2012
Building our economy is part of our national security.  So my plan would take about half of the money that we're no longer spending on war, let's use it to put people back to work rebuilding our roads, our runways, our ports, laying broadband lines into rural communities, updating our wireless networks.    Let's create a Veterans Jobs Corps so we can put our returning heroes back to work as cops and firefighters in community that need them most. 
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July 25, 2012
That’s why we’ve emphasized helping our veterans create small businesses -- because if they fought for us, they shouldn’t have to fight to get financing when they get home.    They shouldn’t have to fight for a job when they come home.  They shouldn’t have to fight for a roof over their heads when they come home.  We should honor them the way they’ve honored us with their service. 
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July 25, 2012
Back in 2008, I said I would end the war in Iraq -- and I did.     Thanks to the extraordinary service of our men and women in uniform -- not only have we given Iraqis an opportunity to determine their own destiny, but we were able to refocus our attention on al Qaeda, the folks who actually carried out the 9/11 attacks.    So we’ve got them on their heels and decimated their leadership, including Osama bin Laden.    And now in Afghanistan we’re starting to transition and bring our troops home so that Afghans can take a lead for securing their own country.
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July 27, 2012
As many of you know, I have made it a top priority for my administration to deepen cooperation with Israel across the whole spectrum of security issues -- intelligence, military, technology.  And, in many ways, what this legislation does is bring together all the outstanding cooperation that we have seen, really, at an unprecedented level between our two countries that underscore our unshakeable commitment to Israel security.
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August 12, 2012
I’m running to make sure that after a decade of war, we start doing some nation-building here at home.    In 2008, I promised we’d end the war in Iraq -- we’ve ended it.    I said we’d go after al Qaeda and bin Laden -- we did.    Now we’re beginning a transition in Afghanistan, making Afghans more responsible for their own security, and bringing our troops home.  All of this is possible only because of the extraordinary men and women in uniform who protect our freedom every single day at great sacrifice to themselves. 
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August 13, 2012
I'm running because in 2008, I promised to end the war in Iraq -- and I did.    I promised to go after al Qaeda and bin Laden -- and we did.    We're putting a timeline to get our troops out of Afghanistan and put Afghans in charge of their own security.  So all of this is possible only because of the extraordinary sacrifice and service of our men and women in uniform.  And we are so proud of them. 
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August 13, 2012
Now, we've got to do right by them.  We've got to make sure we're serving our veterans as well as they've served us.    That's why we've put more money into the VA, making sure that folks are getting the benefits that they have earned, whether it's the wounds that are seen or the wounds that are unseen.
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August 13, 2012
But it also means that after a decade of war, we need to do some nation-building here at home, so that all our men and women in uniform are coming home to good-paying jobs.  That's why I've said let's take half the money that we were spending on war and let's put folks back to work right here in the United States of America.    Let's put them back to work rebuilding schools and rebuilding roads and rebuilding bridges.    And let's create a Veterans Jobs Corp to help hire veterans to become cops and firefighters in communities that need them the most. 
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August 13, 2012
Back in 2008, I said it was time to end the war in Iraq -- we ended it.    I said it was time for us to go after bin Laden and al Qaeda -- and we did.    We’ve set a timeline to start bringing our troops out of Afghanistan, and so after a decade of war, I think it’s time to do some nation-building here at home. 
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August 14, 2012
I'll give you another example of a difference.  I said in 2008 I'd end the war in Iraq -- and I did.    I said we'd refocus and go after al Qaeda and bin Laden -- we did.    We're bringing our troops home from Afghanistan.  All this is possible because of the extraordinary service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform.    So we've made some historic investments in the VA.  My attitude is anybody who has fought for America, they shouldn’t have to fight for a job or a roof over their heads when they come home.  We've got to serve them as well as they serve us.
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August 14, 2012
Look, in 2008, I said we'd end the war in Iraq -- we did.    We said that we'd go after al Qaeda and bin Laden -- we did.    We are now bringing troops home from Afghanistan.    America is safer and more secure than when I came into office, because of the extraordinary sacrifices of our men and women in uniform. 
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August 14, 2012
That's why we've invested so much in making sure that the VA is doing its job, making sure that our veterans get the benefits that they have earned.  Because they shouldn't have to fight for a job or a roof over their heads after they've fought for us.  We've got to serve them as well as they've served us. 
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August 15, 2012
We met folks who have helped Iowa become a leader in wind energy -- and talked about how we need to keep investing in clean, renewable energy.  This morning I had breakfast with Amanda and a number of other veterans, and listened to their stories about not only the pride they took in service to their country, but also they were pretty honest about some of the difficulties when they came home.  And I reminded them that as Commander-In-Chief, one promise I guarantee I'll keep -- we are going to make sure we serve our veterans as well as they served us. 
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August 15, 2012
In 2008, I said I'd end the war in Iraq -- and I did.    I said we would refocus attention on al Qaeda and bin Laden -- and we did.    We've set a timeline to end the war in Afghanistan.  All this was possible because of incredible men and women in uniform like Amanda.    So now we've got an obligation to make sure that our VA and all our services are doing what we need to do for our veterans now that they're coming home.
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August 15, 2012
Now, first of all, I, too, just want to thank Jennifer for not just her introduction, but for serving as a military spouse and championing the causes that are so important for so many military families like hers.  And so please give her a big -- another round of applause.  Thank you for everything that you do.  Very proud of you. 
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August 15, 2012
I also want to acknowledge, sitting next to Jennifer is Congressman Bruce Braley -- who helped to get the bill that Jennifer had worked on, based on her experience with Andrew, passed, and I had the honor of signing into law -- Congressman Bruce Braley, who is doing a great job on behalf of our veterans and on behalf of working people here in Iowa. 
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August 15, 2012
Back in 2008, I said I would end the war in Iraq -- we ended it.    I said we would go after al Qaeda and bin Laden -- we did.    We are transitioning and bringing our troops out of Afghanistan.  And so after a decade of war -- I say to folks none of this could have been accomplished if it hadn't been for our amazing men and women in uniform.    So we've got to make investments to make sure that they're getting the services that they have earned, because they should never have to fight for a job when they have fought for this country. 
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August 15, 2012
His economic plan is a new $5 trillion tax cut, a lot of it going to the wealthiest Americans.  Now, keep in mind, these are the same folks who say the deficit is our biggest problem, but they want to pass a new $5 trillion tax cut -- $5 trillion, that’s with a “t” -- (laughter.)  So just to give you some perspective, our annual defense budget, everything we spend on national security, is just a little over $500 billion.  So this would be, every year for 10 years, a tax cut as big as our defense spending.
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August 15, 2012
I’m not done yet.  In 2008, I promised to end the war in Iraq -- I ended it.    Governor Romney said the way I ended it was “tragic”.  I said I’d go after al Qaeda and bin Laden -- I went after them.    We’re now beginning a transition out of Afghanistan.  And so all of this is possible only because of the extraordinary service of our men and women in uniform.  And that’s why I’ve made sure to make historic investments in the VA -- because somebody who has fought for us shouldn’t have to fight for a job when they come home. 
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Issue Position |

Romney has said he set a floor of 4 percent of GDP for defense spending. He has vowed to increase shipbuilding by more than 60 percent, invest in a “robust, multi-layered national ballistic-defense system” and modernize the Air Force, Army and Marine Corps.

The GOP candidate has also promised greater efficiency in design and delivery of weapons systems.

Romney has provided few details on how he would pay for any new military investments or potential growth in defense spending, but he has proposed reducing the ranks of the Department of Defense bureaucracy, specifically through cuts in the Pentagon’s civilian staff.

Endorse

Romney on Military Spending
106 Comments

Reader Endorsements

Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo A strong military is a strong America.

Valerie Huffman Osborn

Valerie Huffman Osborn He won't cut the spending for our military but support it and give the funds so our miltary can once again be strong.

Alex Jastin Vang

Alex Jastin Vang Being the only Superpower in the world, we need a large, combat ready military. We used to be able to get our combat ready troops anywhere in the world in 90 minutes or less. Superior technology, doesn't always mean a ...See More

John Drolette

John Drolette We are still a super power & must always be ready for the unexpected like 9/11. Russia, China, Iran & North Korea & Alqeida are very dangerouis to our future security threat.

Tom Allmon

Tom Allmon Romney is for a strong military to support and defend this Nation not a week neutered department of defense.

Jackson Buice

Jackson Buice Our country is strong because we have always provided for our military!

Carmen Silvia Constable

Carmen Silvia Constable Romney will adjust his priorities & spending according to the changing nature of threats in the world. Right now, the budget for military & contractors need to be increased to at least 4% due to world unrest; we need a ...See More

Jim Lewin

Jim Lewin Romney is the only candidate that believes a strong US military is essential to world peace.

Robert Duncan III

Robert Duncan III The rules of engagement from first hand evidence is killing our troops and contractors. The question is why is the cic not supporting basic standing orders such as protecting the crew and ship first

Robert Hightower Jr

Robert Hightower Jr Romney:?. Obama;? neither will cut anything, too many jobs hang in the balance. besides the other side is giving-up.

Marius Herman

Marius Herman In order to defend the greatest country on Earth, it's leaders need to make sure it has the best training and weapons available, that cannot be done by reducing the budget for defense spending.

Ron Goldstein

Ron Goldstein Obama is the worst president in the history of this republic.

Devorah Nuneya

Devorah Nuneya I agree with him.

Kyle Vance

Kyle Vance Obama is ruining our health care system, why stop there, ruin our military also. Obama stated that he would use the cuts in military spending to focus more on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissances...to bad he is talking about using it ...See More

Wayne Grimsley

Wayne Grimsley It's time someone returned our military to its true strength. Obama has diminished the strength of our military to the lowest levels in years. Romney understands our need to be the world power we have always been.

Deanna Lott

Deanna Lott Romney/Ryan 2012

Mark Kandianis

Mark Kandianis A strong economy means a strong country. Islamic extremism is on the rise,make no mistake, we need a strong defense.

Kay Getaway

Kay Getaway WE NEED TO MILITARY DEFENSE TO PROTECT OUR COUNTRY. THAT IS IT!!!!!

Alla Torchinsky

Alla Torchinsky Our world is on a verge of war. We need a strong military,and leaders.

Henry Pollack

Henry Pollack obama is hurting our nations ability to lead.

Rob Parish

Rob Parish Our Military has been cut so deep over the last twenty years that those serving have stopped asking for what they know they need. I know this because I have served over twenty years. The Commander in Chief must provide ...See More

Sam 'Jay' West

Sam 'Jay' West I think a mix of the two approaches would be best. But you can't cut it like Obama wants and Romney's revamping means jobs

Farmer Joe

Farmer Joe NASA GONE NEXT THE MILITARY LEAVES US WIDE OPEN

Securities Finance

Securities Finance Mr. Obama has ensured that our withdrawal around the globe will mark a huge decline in world security and American influence. Mr. Romney will ensure that military spending allows for a strong nation.

Tonya Davis-Stinson

Tonya Davis-Stinson We need a strong military. We have to maintain our standing as a world power. If we keep tucking our tails between our legs and "play fighting" we continue to loose good kids, AND we look weak. It's time to ...See More

Thomas Daniel

Thomas Daniel the chinese are building we are cutting

Linda Fugger Rice

Linda Fugger Rice HE WILL NOT LET THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD RUN THIS NATION. HE WILL MAKE US A PROUD AND STRONG NATION AND PROTECT OUR TROOPS IN HARM'S WAY. NO MORE BENGHAZI.

Lee Varner

Lee Varner Obama wants no military. He wants us to be over run by terrorist. Romney believes in a strong military.

Fatima Baeta

Fatima Baeta We cannot skimp on Military. We need to keep our forces strong. Weaken our Military, and we will be overthrown.

Tom Balfour

Tom Balfour arbittrary reduction of the military solely for political reasons, without regard to potential threats, is at best, irresponsible. We are at war with Islam, admit it or not, it is a de facto asymmetric war, and is not going away ...See More

Securities Finance

Securities Finance No one person has done more to demoralize the American military than Barack Hussein Obama. From his first act on becoming president -- a public apology to the Muslim world -- to his telegraphing of our pullout dates in Iraq ...See More

Moru Souare

Moru Souare ROMNEY CAUSE ALL REPUBLICAN WANT WARS AND WORST

Myckey Frederickson

Myckey Frederickson The only viable method of defending US interests is the continued maintenance of a dominant US military.Mr Obama has systematically undermined both the military and US international diplomacy through his administrations incompetent mismanagement.

John Roberts

John Roberts He cut us way to much. Remember one reason this country is so great is because we have the military to protect it. This will also hurt the troops who put their life on the line for this country. Also ...See More

Michael Carvalho

Michael Carvalho THOSE WHO ARE OUT OF WORK, LOST THEIR HOMES, HAVE BILLS OUT OF CONTROL, ARE HOMELESS SHOULD FEEL SECURE THAT THEY ARE SAFE AND SECURE DESPITE THESE ISSUES...YEAH OK!!

David J Vinish

David J Vinish Our military has been weakened to a dangerous level by our resident "commander in chief"

Carlos Omar Rodríguez

Carlos Omar Rodríguez Sorry but as American economic power weakens, we will have to rely on our military to protect us. It is all we got at this point. Plus, we seriously need to fire some of those overpaid DoD civilians.

Catherine Gleisner Laird

Catherine Gleisner Laird YES,YES, YES!! Obama has made us a weak nation. We need to regain our status and protect America....before it's too late.

Brian Barrett

Brian Barrett a strong military keeps america strong

Shaun Brown

Shaun Brown OBAMA WANTS TO DESTORY OUR MILITARY

Christopher Mullaney

Christopher Mullaney I hope he'll spend wisely. The present spending is haphazard and wasteful.

Caleb Hume

Caleb Hume I agree with Romney on this issue. First while there is an increased risk from terrorists and other gorilla groups around the world there is still a threat from established countries like Iran, North Korea, and China. These nations need ...See More

Caleb Hume

Caleb Hume I agree with Romney on this issue. First while there is an increased risk from terrorists and other gorilla groups around the world there is still a threat from established countries like Iran, North Korea, and China. These nations need ...See More

Caleb Hume

Caleb Hume I agree with Romney on this issue. First while there is an increased risk from terrorists and other gorilla groups around the world there is still a threat from established countries like Iran, North Korea, and China. These nations need ...See More

Baine Sumpin

Baine Sumpin Testing WaPo's censorship again Elderly Reduce Obama

Eric N. Coop

Eric N. Coop Mr. Romney, unlike Mr. Obama, realizes that to have a safe America, we have to have a strong, well-armed military. Without this, we will be open to attack and be seen as weak by nations such as North Korea, China, ...See More

Celia Ann Godfrey

Celia Ann Godfrey When the Sec.of Defense is hammering Obama you know it is time for a new leader. A weak defense is not good especially now.

Jeff Musa

Jeff Musa We must maintain a fit and trained military. Plus, defense spending creates a ridiculous amount of well paying jobs, nationally. It's the ultimate economic stimulus.

Emberdink Humberdittle

Emberdink Humberdittle Emberdink Humberdittle Yeh, I like a militaristic buffooooooon who dodged getting involved in VietNam, dodges taxes, dodges questions about his actual business experience, and dodges even admitting to what his real first name is. I love what Dick Cheney and ...See More

Alison Duncan Murphy

Alison Duncan Murphy How can anyone be a member of the military or dependent upon the military for their income and NOT vote Romney? Obama has flat out said he IS going to cut the defense budget. And that means YOU! Only the ...See More

Jonathan Erickson

Jonathan Erickson A business is only as good as it's CEO see 16 trillion in debt. Why was Obama doing a fluff piece on the view and did not have the time for our only friend in the middle east, Isreal?

Cole Wheeler

Cole Wheeler i been doing my research , do i need a reason. Im not just going to listen to what others say. i need facts and im finding them.. and no way would i vote for a man who is not ...See More

Nancy Neff- Skrzyniarz

Nancy Neff- Skrzyniarz We will always need a strong military and as the world and self interests grow..this country needs to remain strong.

Robert C. Dees

Robert C. Dees Strong military is key to supporting our interests outside the US and also for supporting our allies - like Egypt - around the world.

Meredith Bianca

Meredith Bianca We need a strong military, it just shows that Obama is a coward.

Maureen Wilson

Maureen Wilson Obama has failed at international policies

Pamela Martin Hoyt

Pamela Martin Hoyt If Obama was so "ProMilitary", we wouldn't have dead Americans coming back here from the Middle East and North Africa. The world knows Obama is soft on defense and won't use military and that he has weakend our military more ...See More

Ron Berry

Ron Berry Romney wants to make America strong. Obama wants to make America weak.

Linda Sobel

Linda Sobel I think a strong National Defense and so spending to implement this is necessary at the same time, reckless spending as part of the current administration must be stopped so Military Spending should be carefully evaluated and controlled.

Christopher Mullaney

Christopher Mullaney He may say military spending is important for both defense and the economy but I think his approach will be less wasteful than is now evident. We need not be the world's police force. We just need protect our home ...See More

Damon Dees

Damon Dees If you vote for the KNUCKLE HEAD you must have your head in the sand!!!! watch the news !!!!

Jim Moon

Jim Moon We are the worlds peace keepers. We need to stay that way.

Roy Heh

Roy Heh 1. I want to be safe. 2. I want a stronger America. 3. Obama is a great motivational speaker but not a doer.

Tim Krier

Tim Krier Mitt Romney understands that a strong Anerican Military insures security and dissuades those who would create chaos and havoc. We are reaping the rewards of appeasement and the reduction of our military strength under the current administration. Take monies given ...See More

Adam Shankle

Adam Shankle A smaller military is a weaker military, the US military is the primary reason that other countries do not attack this country. To "streamline" the military leads to the US becoming a laughing stock in terms of national defense. The ...See More

Daniel Danielson

Daniel Danielson Mitt Romney is smarter than Obama

Tim O'Neil

Tim O'Neil Too many reasons why. Obama has been a disaster on foreign policy, as evidenced by the recent debacle in Libya and Egypt. He is a far left liberal who never met a military budget he didn't want to cut to ...See More

Jeffrey Fayerman

Jeffrey Fayerman Romney much better understands american values,hi is true american.

Maria Medero

Maria Medero Out of the box thinker; an exceptional businessman; loves the US; understands the need for national security.

Doug E Edge Sr.

Doug E Edge Sr. better leader all the way around

Jacen Boyd

Jacen Boyd Obama is trying to gut the military, which was the same wrong-headed move Clinton made before 9/11. Romney is right: we need a military so strong that no nation would ever dream of testing it. That's why he gets my ...See More

Marion McBath Murphy

Marion McBath Murphy He will protect those who are fighting for OUR FREEDOM for which Romney supports

Robert Forsberg

Robert Forsberg Leaner millitary works if we want to end our time as a super power. we need to be able to not only handle two wars at once but also continue our abillity to help those that need it through out ...See More

Tracey Lindsay

Tracey Lindsay we need stronger leadership

Walt Keays

Walt Keays Gov. Romney will work with the DoD to focus on where we need to invest in our security while getting the best ROI for that investment.

William Mckinney

William Mckinney Sronger leadership

Xavier StJohn

Xavier StJohn Because Obama's a pantywaist who doesn't know how to pronounce "Corpsman" as in "Navy Corpsman". Also, he's selling Israel down the river, downplaying Iran by watering down the sanctions to an extreme level. He doesn't care what happens in the ...See More

Craig Fletcher

Craig Fletcher Obama wants a weak military.... why???? We need to be strong, the world is crazy.... Iran is threatening War.... why weaken our military now???? Romney wants to increase our military.... Which means we will be stronger in the eye of ...See More

Craig Fletcher

Craig Fletcher Obama wants a weak military.... why???? We need to be strong, the world is crazy.... Iran is threatening War.... why weaken our military now???? Romney wants to increase our military.... Which means we will be stronger in the eye of ...See More

Lewis Hemmerton

Lewis Hemmerton I don't endorse either of these clowns. I endorse Gary Johnson.

Jesse Califano

Jesse Califano A more rational approach to governing with fiscal responsibility in managing the American Economy with less regulations; less taxes, less spending, and hence- LESS DEBT!

Kathryn Kitty Reichman Atkins

Kathryn Kitty Reichman Atkins Without our Military the extremist countries would attack us on our soil!!! We must retain our Powerful stance on Freedom-to have Freedom we must have our military.

Jason Hill

Jason Hill we as a hegemon can not afford to shrink our military force. we have made it our business to police the rest of the world and we can not afford to pull back now. we also gather large amounts of ...See More

Walter Christmas

Walter Christmas We live in an untidy world. Those who think we should make drastic cuts in our military budget should consider making similar cuts in our police and justice system. The obvious reason we do not do the latter is that ...See More

Nivek Htims

Nivek Htims Mitt understands the need for a large military presence he wants us to be able to defend our borders and interests as well as police the world.

Thomas Sweeney

Thomas Sweeney Our Military is and should be the finest in the world. We cannot afford to cut military spending with all the unrest in the world

Betty Ford

Betty Ford Romney will not compromise our safety by reducing the military budget. He will be prepared for every situation.

Securities Finance

Securities Finance Mitt recognizes that America has a role in the world that the United Nations cannot fill, since it has no independent military force of its own. He is once again a pragmatics. As a Left-wing ideologue, Barack Obama thinks surrender ...See More

David Gray

David Gray Obama's reasoning and intent bears too much resemblance to the USA in the run-up to WWII, when the US was rated as 13th in the world, behind Bulgaria. Way too many Americans died needlessly for this stupidity.

Riker Kasamoto

Riker Kasamoto Peace through strength is the answer to foreign entanglements.

Jeff Price

Jeff Price Technology doesn't replace boots on the ground. I thought we learned that in the early struggles in Iraq? Its funny how the left picke on President Bush for doing the same things they cheer from Obama. Are they mental?

Royal Sanders-James

Royal Sanders-James Obama is a con man who knows little to nothing about governing a country and is stealing money from defending our country to fund his socialist programs,

Wendy Wagner

Wendy Wagner Obama is gutting our military. He has put people in high places who have given out sensitive information. He has little respect for the people who serve our nation.

Henry Vu

Henry Vu Romney is a very special politician like Cardinal Richelieu before. He is extremely talented and most important he knows how to make wealth. I believe he will drive our enemies crazy and build a very strong America for 21st century.See More

Bryan K. Macklowe

Bryan K. Macklowe Keep the military strong, and only cut spending where absolutely necessary.

Michael Gardner

Michael Gardner Yes, it’s the Arab spring, and the whiff of Islamic fundamentalism is in the air. And now the Muslim Brotherhood is running Egypt, and Libya. Is this the Arab spring, or Arab winter? So, is democracy on the rise, in ...See More

Sheri Bowyer Stephenson

Sheri Bowyer Stephenson I endorse Mr. Romney because he is not a spineless coward who thinks, Iran, Russia and North Korea will eventually join us in a chorus of KUMBAYA while holding hands.

Ok Nana

Ok Nana OBAMA AND HIS POLICIES ARE HANDING AMERICA TO THE RUSSIANS AND IRAN. GOOGLE "DISHONORABLE DISCLOSURES. OBAMA AND HIS POLICIES ARE KILLING DECENT AMERICAS!!!! OBAMA MUST BE STOPPED!!

Victoria Ksk

Victoria Ksk Obama is gutting the Military Budget and is for nuclear proliferation while Russia, China, Iran and other rogue countries are upping their nukes and building a strong military. I dont trust Obama because of his Communist ideology and will give ...See More

Robert Meyer

Robert Meyer my main reason why is because of lies by obama suportters the man has done nothing but lie sice election you see i rember the c-span comments and the most transparent adminn in history and immediately goes behind closed dopors ...See More

Carolina Verdugo

Carolina Verdugo This is essential for our national security, I definitely agree that not only we need to rebuild and strengthen our military branches, but also aid our soldiers with better equipment so they can do their job to the best of ...See More

James Bruce

James Bruce Mitt wants to have a powerful country

Jonathon Burton

Jonathon Burton He will Keep me and my family safer.

Rachel Ward

Rachel Ward The last thing we want is to decrease our military. There are too many evil people out there who wish nothing but evil and harm on the U.S. And whether or not they want to admit it, we are the ...See More

Trent Evans Johnnie Johnson

Trent Evans Johnnie Johnson Protection for my country...

Edward Gordon

Edward Gordon Mitt will only keep our military strong unlike Obama who has weakened our military.

Romney's Statements (19)

October 7, 2011
Every great university and college produces future engineers, doctors, lawyers and entrepreneurs. Here at the Citadel, you do all that but you have another specialty - you produce heroes.  Over 1400 of your alumni have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere fighting the war against terrorism.  And sixteen have paid the ultimate price.
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October 7, 2011
I was born in 1947, a classic baby boomer. I grew up in a world formed by one dominant threat to America: the Soviet Union and Communism. The “duck and cover” drills we learned in school during the Cuban Missile Crisis resulted from a threat by a known, identifiable enemy, with clear borders and established leaders. We needed spy planes to find the hidden missiles in Cuba but we didn’t need them to find Nikita Khrushchev. President Reagan could negotiate with Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev and sign treaties for which each side could be held accountable. And when we caught the Soviets cheating, we could bring the world’s attention to their transgressions.
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October 7, 2011
Among these actions will be to restore America’s national defense.  I will reverse the hollowing of our Navy and announce an initiative to increase the shipbuilding rate from 9 per year to 15.  I will begin reversing Obama-era cuts to national missile defense and prioritize the full deployment of a multilayered national ballistic missile defense system. I will order the formulation of a national cybersecurity strategy, to deter and defend against the growing threats of militarized cyber-attacks, cyber-terrorism, and cyber-espionage.
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October 8, 2011
I will modernize our Navy and Air Force, add active duty soldiers, restore a robust missile defense system, and give our veterans the world-class care they deserve.
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October 8, 2011
The 21st century must be an American century. It began with terror, war, and economic calamity. It is our duty to steer it onto the path of freedom, peace, and prosperity. My hope is that our grandchildren will remember us in the same way that we remember the last generations of Americans who overcame adversity, that fought in world wars, that came through the Great Depression, and that gained victory in the Cold War. Let future generations look back on us and say they rose to the occasion, they embraced their duty, and they led our nation to safety and strength.
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March 6, 2012
Iran has long engaged in terrorism around the world, most recently in Georgia and in Thailand. In Washington, DC, Iran plotted to assassinate the Saudi ambassador by bombing a Georgetown restaurant. Iran has deployed Hezbollah and Hamas and armed the insurgents of Iraq and Afghanistan, killing our sons and daughters. They war against America.
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March 19, 2012
Let’s start with taxes. By their very nature, they reduce our freedom. Their only role in a free economy should be to fund services that are absolutely essential, such as national security, education, and the care of those who cannot care for themselves.
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April 13, 2012
By their very nature, taxes reduce our freedom. Their only role in a free economy should be to fund services that are absolutely essential, such as national security, education, and the care of those who cannot care for themselves.
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May 18, 2012
Today, I join with the Cuban people—on the island, here in America, and elsewhere in the world—in honoring the independence that was so dearly won by brave Cubans over a century ago.  The struggle for Cuban independence was based on the principles of liberty, and won through the courage and sacrifice that the yearning for freedom inspires.
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May 18, 2012
Today, we join Cubans around the world in celebrating independence and remembering the brave men and women who gave their lives in the fight for freedom. And to those who continue the fight, I offer not only words of support, but the promise of action.
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June 21, 2012
We also have a strong tradition in this country of honoring immigrants who join our military and put their lives on the line to keep this country safe. Since September 11, 2001, the United States has naturalized almost 75,000 members of the Armed Forces. Too many of these patriots died on distant battlefields for our freedom before receiving full citizenship here in the country they called “home.”
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June 21, 2012
As President, I will stand for a path to legal status for anyone who is willing to stand up and defend this great nation through military service. Those who have risked their lives in defense of America have earned the right to make their life in America.
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July 11, 2012
“I was stunned by his comments, and shocked by them. This is Hugo Chavez, this is Venezuela. This is Chavez who has invited Iran in, who has invited Hezbollah. Hezbollah, of course, being a surrogate and a proxy for Iran would potentially have access to weapons that could be used against us. … The idea that this nation, this president doesn’t pose a national security threat to this country is simply naïve. It’s an extraordinary admission on the part of this president to be completely out of touch with what’s happened in Latin America.” – Mitt Romney
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July 24, 2012
Mitt Romney today delivered remarks at the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Reno, Nevada. The following remarks were prepared for delivery:
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July 24, 2012
Our veterans are part of a proud tradition that stretches back to the battlefields at Lexington and Concord – and now to places like Fallujah and Kandahar.  Year after year, our men and women in uniform have added proud achievements to their record of service.  And President Obama pointed to some of them yesterday in his speech.
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July 24, 2012
Any time our military accomplishes a vital mission it is a proud moment for our nation.  But we owe our veterans and our military more than just an accounting of our successes.  They deserve a fair and frank assessment of the whole picture – of where we are and where we want to be.  And when it comes to national security and foreign policy, as with our economy, the last few years have been a time of declining influence and missed opportunity.
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July 24, 2012
That devastation starts at home. These cuts would only weaken an already stretched VA system and impair our solemn commitment that every veteran receives care second to none. I will not allow that to happen.
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July 24, 2012
Lives of American servicemen and women are at stake.  But astonishingly, the administration failed to change its ways. More top-secret operations were leaked, even some involving covert action in Iran.
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August 14, 2012
We started out on the decks of a battleship in Norfolk, Virginia, where arbitrary and reckless defense cuts threaten our national security and 150,000 jobs.  From there it was on to North Carolina, through towns that have lost th