POTUS speech from Afghanistan tonight: excerpts
President Barack Obama speaks to U.S. troops at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan Tuesday. (photo credit: Getty Images)
May 1st, 2012
07:08 PM ET

POTUS speech from Afghanistan tonight: excerpts

As released by The White House:

As Prepared for Delivery –

“Already, nearly half the Afghan people live in places where Afghan Security Forces are moving into the lead. This month, at a NATO Summit in Chicago, our coalition will set a goal for Afghan forces to be in the lead for combat operations across the country next year. International troops will continue to train, advise and assist the Afghans, and fight alongside them when needed. But we will shift into a support role as Afghans step forward.

As we do, our troops will be coming home. Last year, we removed 10,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Another 23,000 will leave by the end of the summer. After that, reductions will continue at a steady pace, with more of our troops coming home. And as our coalition agreed, by the end of 2014 the Afghans will be fully responsible for the security of their country.”

“My fellow Americans, we have traveled through more than a decade under the dark cloud of war. Yet here, in the pre-dawn darkness of Afghanistan, we can see the light of a new day on the horizon. The Iraq War is over. The number of our troops in harm’s way has been cut in half, and more will be coming home soon. We have a clear path to fulfill our mission in Afghanistan, while delivering justice to al Qaeda.

This future is only within reach because of our men and women in uniform. Time and again, they have answered the call to serve in distant and dangerous places. In an age when so many institutions have come up short, these Americans stood tall. They met their responsibilities to one another, and the flag they serve under. I just met with some of them, and told them that as Commander-in-Chief, I could not be prouder. In their faces, we see what is best in ourselves and our country.”

“As we emerge from a decade of conflict abroad and economic crisis at home, it is time to renew America. An America where our children live free from fear, and have the skills to claim their dreams. A united America of grit and resilience, where sunlight glistens off soaring new towers in downtown Manhattan, and we build our future as one people, as one nation.”

“This time of war began in Afghanistan, and this is where it will end.”

soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. gung hoe

    Political ad barph hurl barph hurl.Oh sorry thats what happnens when obama is on tv and I dont turn the channel fast enough

    May 2, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • Howard

      Instead of governing and leading ... once again, Obama is exploiting the Presidency, our tax dollars, and even America's Foreign Policy, in a desperate attempt to get himself reelected.

      May 2, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Name*Liz Carter

      You are pathetic!! I don't understand how you even have anything left to barf and vomit after living in the years between 2001-2008, under George W Bush and Dick Cheney!! If you didn't have to throw up then, and change the tv station, you got to be kidding now!! We are coming back up as a nation, with NO THANKS to your ILK; the RepubliKKKhans, the REPULICAN'TS aka GREED OVER PEOPLE PARTY, aka The Party of HELL NO!! You all need to stop the drama now and let's all get honest and come together for once!! Together we stand, divided we fall!! Oh, but 'fall', that is what you all want isn't it??

      May 3, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • Carol100

      How predictable and ridiculous of Obama... He is a joke.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:48 am |
  2. Sponge-Bob

    This guy will use anything for political gain and power.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:24 am |
  3. John

    Political or not, this was a good thing to do, especially on this date.

    I suspect I will take issue with the dollar amount once we get the details of how much money we are giving them.

    May 2, 2012 at 8:24 am |
    • Howard

      Obama and the media are milking this Afghanistan story, for every drop of political benefit they can. The polls are showing Obama on shaky ground, and he's desperate. Elect a President who is competent, and can save our economy, not a public relations attention hog ... who probably gave away the store, so that a corrupt Karzai would bail him out.

      May 2, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
  4. DEcember 2012


    May 2, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Howard

      Using accomplishments to get reelected ??? What accomplishments ??? ... squandering 5 Trillion dollars in 3 1/2 years ... gas at over $4 per gallon ... zero transparency ... Fast and Furious ... America's credit downgrade ... 15+ Trillion debt ... Michelle's half million dollar 5 day vacation ... and now ... Instead of governing and leading ... once again, Obama is exploiting the Presidency, our tax dollars, and even America's Foreign Policy, in a desperate attempt to get himself reelected.

      May 2, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
      • jerry

        ... in a desperate attempt to get himself reelected ...AND DESTROY AMERICA!

        May 2, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
  5. estibaliz

    By Ben Stein

    Why was President Barack Obama in such a hurry to get his socialized medicine bill passed? Because he and his cunning circle realize some basic truths:

    The American people in their unimaginable kindness and trust voted for a pig in a poke in 2008.
    (Pig in a poke means: an offering or deal that is foolishly accepted without being examined first. A poke means sack.)

    They wanted so much to believe Barack Obama was somehow better and different from other ultra-leftists that they simply took him on faith.

    They ignored his anti-white writings in his books.

    They ignored his quiet acceptance of hysterical anti-American diatribes by his minister, Jeremiah Wright.

    They ignored his refusal to explain years at a time of his life as a student.

    They ignored his ultra-left record as a "community organizer," Illinois state legislator, and Senator.

    The American people ignored his total zero of an academic record as a student and teacher, his complete lack of scholarship when he was being touted as a scholar.

    Now, the American people are starting to wake up to the truth. Barack Obama is a super likeable super leftist, and not a fan of this country.

    The American people have already awakened to the truth that the stimulus bill - a great idea in theory - was really an immense bribe to Democrat interest groups, and in no way helped all Americans.

    The American people already know that Mr. Obama's plan to lower health costs while expanding coverage and bureaucracy is a myth, a promise of something that never was and never can be -
    "a bureaucracy lowering costs in a free society." Either the costs go up or the free society goes away... an historical truth.

    These are perilous times. Mrs. Hillary Clinton, our Secretary of State, has given Iran the go-ahead to have nuclear weapons, an unqualified betrayal of the nation. Now, we face a devastating loss of freedom at home in health care. It will be joined by controls on our lives to "protect us" from global warming, itself largely a fraud, if believed to be caused by man. She has also signed on to a Small Firearms Treaty at the U.N. This is a back door gun control move. This is approved by the Senate and a 2nd Amendment majority doesn't exist in the Senate now. It will supersede all U.S. Law and the 2nd Amendment. All citizen possession will be eliminated through confiscation. Just Like Great Britain and Australia .

    Mr. Obama knows Americans are getting wise and will stop him if he delays at all in taking away our freedoms. There is his urgency and our opportunity. Once freedom is lost, America is lost. Wake up, beloved America .

    May 2, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Mike

      Things President Obama has done:

      1. Ordered all federal agencies to undertake a study and make recommendations for ways to cut spending
      2. Ordered a review of all federal operations to identify and cut wasteful spending and practices
      3. Instituted enforcement for equal pay for women
      4. Ended the Iraq War
      5. Families of fallen soldiers have expenses covered to be on hand when the body arrives at Dover AFB
      6 Ended media blackout on war casualties; reporting full information
      7. Ended media blackout on covering the return of fallen soldiers to Dover AFB; the media is now permitted to do so pending adherence to respectful rules and approval of fallen soldier’s family
      8. The White House and federal government are respecting the Freedom of Information Act
      9. Instructed all federal agencies to promote openness and transparency as much as possible
      10. Limits on lobbyist’s access to the White House
      11. Limits on White House aides working for lobbyists after their tenure in the administration
      12. Ended the previous stop-loss policy that kept soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan longer than their enlistment date
      13. Phasing out the expensive F-22 war plane and other outdated weapons systems, which weren’t even used or needed in Iraq/Afghanistan
      14. Removed restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research
      15. Federal support for stem-cell and new biomedical research
      16. New federal funding for science and research labs
      17. States are permitted to enact federal fuel efficiency standards above federal standards
      18. Increased infrastructure spending (roads, bridges, power plants) after years of neglect
      19. Funds for high-speed, broadband Internet access to K-12 schools
      20. New funds for school construction
      21. US Auto industry rescue plan successfully saved the industry
      22. Housing rescue plan
      23. ARRA of 2009, Economic stimulus plan which helped end the Great Recession & forestall a Depression
      24. The public can meet with federal housing insurers to refinance (the new plan can be completed in one day) a mortgage if they are having trouble paying
      25. US financial and banking rescue plan
      26. The secret detention facilities in Eastern Europe and elsewhere are closed
      27. Ended the previous policy; the US now has a no torture policy and is in compliance with theGeneva Convention standards
      28. Better body armor is now being provided to our troops
      29. The missile defense program is being cut by $1.4 billion in 2010
      30. Restarted the nuclear nonproliferation talks and building back up the nuclear inspection infrastructure/protocols
      31. Reengaged in the treaties/agreements to protect the Antarctic
      32. Reengaged in the agreements/talks on global warming and greenhouse gas emissions
      33. Visited more countries and met with more world leaders than any president in his first six months in office
      34. Successful release of US captain held bySomali pirates; authorized the SEALS to do their job
      35. US Navy increased patrols off Somali coast
      36. Attractive tax write-offs for those who buy hybrid automobiles
      37. Cash for clunkers program offered vouchers to trade in fuel inefficient, polluting old cars for new cars; stimulated auto sales
      38. Announced plans to purchase fuel efficient American-made fleet for the federal government
      49. Expanded the SCHIP program to cover health care for 4 million more children
      40. Signed national service legislation; expandednational youth service program
      41. Instituted a new policy on Cuba, allowing Cuban families to return home to visit loved ones
      42. Ended the previous policy of not regulating and labeling carbon dioxide emissions
      43. Expanding vaccination programs
      44. Immediate and efficient response to the floods and other natural disasters
      45. Closed offshore tax safe havens
      46. Negotiated deal with Swiss banks to permit US government to gain access to records of tax evaders and criminals
      47. Ended the previous policy of offering tax benefits to corporations who outsource American jobs; the new policy is to promote in-sourcing to bring jobs back
      48.. Ended the previous practice of protecting credit card companies; in place of it are new consumer protections from credit card industry’s predatory practices
      59. Energy producing plants must begin preparing to produce 15% of their energy from renewable sources
      50. Lower drug costs for seniors
      51. Ended the previous practice of forbidding Medicare from negotiating with drug manufacturers for cheaper drugs; the federal government is now realizing hundreds of millions in savings
      52. Increasing pay and benefits for military personnel
      53. Improved housing for military personnel
      54. Initiating a new policy to promote federal hiring of military spouses
      55. Improved conditions at Walter Reed Military Hospital and other military hospitals
      56 Increased student loans
      57. Increasing opportunities in AmeriCorps program
      58. Sent envoys to Middle East and other parts of the world that had been neglected for years; reengaging in multilateral and bilateral talks and diplomacy
      59. Established a new cyber security office
      60. Beginning the process of reforming and restructuring the military 20 years after the Cold War to a more modern fighting force; this includes new procurement policies, increasing size of military, new technology and cyber units and operations, etc.
      61. Ended previous policy of awarding no-bid defense contracts
      62. Ordered a review of hurricane and natural disaster preparedness
      63. Established a National Performance Officer charged with saving the federal government money and making federal operations more efficient
      64. Students struggling to make college loan payments can have their loans refinanced
      65. Improving benefits for veterans
      66. Many more press conferences and town halls and much more media access than previous administration
      67. Instituted a new focus on mortgage fraud
      68. The FDA is now regulating tobacco
      69. Ended previous policy of cutting the FDA and circumventing FDA rules
      70. Ended previous practice of having White House aides rewrite scientific and environmental rules, regulations, and re0ports
      71 Authorized discussions with North Korea and private mission by Pres. Bill Clinton to secure the release of two Americans held in prisons
      72. Authorized discussions with Myanmar and mission by Sen. Jim Web to secure the release of an American held captive
      73. Making more loans available to small businesses
      74. Established independent commission to make recommendations on slowing the costs of Medicare
      75. Appointment of first Latina to the Supreme Court
      76. Authorized construction/opening of additional health centers to care for veterans
      77. Limited salaries of senior White House aides; cut to $100,000
      78. Renewed loan guarantees for Israel
      79. Changed the failing/status quo military command in Afghanistan
      80. At the request of military commanders deployed additional troops to Afghanistan
      81. New Afghan War policy that limits aerial bombing and prioritizes aid, development of infrastructure, diplomacy, and good government practices by Afghans
      82. Announced the long-term development of a national energy grid with renewable sources and cleaner, efficient energy production
      83. Returned money authorized for refurbishment of White House offices and private living quarters
      84. Paid for redecoration of White House living quarters out of his own pocket
      85. Held first Seder in White House
      86. Attempting to reform the nation’s healthcare system which is the most expensive in the world yet leaves almost 50 million without health insurance and millions more under insured
      87. Has put the ball in play for comprehensive immigration reform
      88. Has announced his intention to push for energy reform
      89. Has announced his intention to push for education reform

      May 5, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  6. hiddenagenda

    and i bet 99% of the servicemen there (By the way i appreciate everything you guy/gals do) were all asking the same exact thing: WTF am I here?

    May 2, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
  7. Name*Liz Carter

    @Sponge Bob,..you got him mixed up with George Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Rumsfeld, and the rest of those greedy GOP cronies, who proved for the whole 8 years that they'd do ANYTHING for political gain and power!! And most of all MONEY!! We're still trying to get back up on our feet from that fiasco right now!!

    May 2, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
  8. Carol100

    Obama is a joke. Keep him accountable to his own words and make it a One Term.

    May 3, 2012 at 1:45 am |
  9. Marli

    all troops out in 08, what a liar. Such stipud lies. We do forget, we forget you said out in 08 and you will get re-elected. It's sad that he was'nt in the know b4 the election. None of us are in the know and it sucks, we're all in the ass-umption of shit. We do KNOW LIES though, but that's not enough. If blood is on our hands, then we have to KNOW.

    June 28, 2012 at 10:44 pm |