One of the more evocative moments from President Obama‘s Wednesday morning speech before West Point cadets was his noting that this may be the first post-9/11 graduating class to not be sent into combat in either of America’s two ongoing major conflicts.“This is a particularly useful time for America to reflect on those who sacrificed so much for our freedom,” Obama told the graduates. “You are the first class to graduate since 9/11 who may not be sent into combat in Iraq or Afghanistan.”That remark drew applause from the crowd.“When I first spoke at West Point in 2009, we had more than a 100,000 troops in Iraq and we were preparing to surge in Afghanistan,” he continued. “Our counterterrorism efforts were focused on al Qaeda’s core leadership; those who carried out the 9/11 attacks. And our nation was beginning the climb out of the biggest decline since the Depression. Four-and-a-half years later, as you graduate, the landscape has changed.”He then laid out how he believes these graduates will see a different foreign policy climate than their predecessors: We have removed our troops from Iraq, we are winding down the war in Afghanistan. Al Qaeda’s leadership on the border region between… Read full this story
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