(CNN) – President Barack Obama on Saturday said a new chapter is afoot in Afghanistan, calling the U.S. military's impending departure an opportunity to "focus on nation building here at home"
The weekly address caps a week when Obama and his Afghan counterpart signed a strategic partnership agreement clarifying the countries' relationship after 2014, when U.S. and NATO combat forces withdraw.
– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
Obama flew into the country under the cover of night to sign the agreement and speak to service members. He also delivered a prime time speech on U.S. television.
"Because of their bravery and dedication, the tide of war has turned in Afghanistan," Obama said in his weekly address. "The goal that I set - to defeat al Qaeda, and deny it a chance to rebuild - is within reach."
The president also proposed increased domestic nation building, including investments in education and job creation, which would benefit returning veterans.
"I've called on Congress to take the money we're no longer spending at war, use half of it to pay down our debt, and use the other half to rebuild America," Obama said.
After holding his first rallies of his 2012 re-election campaign Saturday, the White House said Obama will speak on student loan rates, the economy and attend campaign events in Seattle and Los Angeles.
He will also host a concert and honor musicians Burt Bacharach and Hal David at the White House.