Obama previews 'new chapter' in U.S., Afghanistan
May 5th, 2012
06:00 AM ET
3 years ago

Obama previews 'new chapter' in U.S., Afghanistan

(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.

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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.


Filed under: Afghanistan • President Obama
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Namejkane sfl romneycare, l didnt mean it, its not my fault, ann made me do it ,im sorry conservaties, who needs romney care anyway, i dont

    Obama landslide coming in Nov , republicans should be thrown out of goverment at all levels because of the bums they have become!!!!

    May 5, 2012 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  2. Gurgyl

    Pull troops back home. Bush sending amerinan treasury for Iraq oil is enough. Mitt wants Iran war, ban SS, Medicare etc.,,

    May 5, 2012 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  3. Anthony

    I think the presedent has the right idea on focosing on amarecas problems.

    May 5, 2012 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  4. Anonymous

    Cue the radical rightwing hatemonkeys in 4,3,2,1....

    May 5, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  5. Living in the REAL world

    Well, you've only got 8 more months left to get something done before heading back to Chicago so I suggest you get to work on rebuilding the US.

    May 5, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  6. george of the jungle

    obama 2012

    May 5, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  7. FED up

    Obama is acting like the money we were using to fund the war is money we have. When in reality it is money we borrow. The 2014 time line is misleading as well. He actually signed us up for another twelve years of "security" and continued training of the Afghan forces. Again on borrowed money. The notion that our military is coming home and freeing up funding for other things like education is deceptive. Of course the blind following Obama has is continuing to praise him. The Taliban attacked our troops shortly after Obama left. They aren't going anywhere. Twelve more years of this folks. NObama 2012!!!

    May 5, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  8. Mike in Texas

    Obama is a strong President. Romney on the other hand is weak. He doesn't speak against Rush for fear of Rush lambating him. He doesn't speak against Ted Nugent after he personally called Ted for his endorsement. He didn't speak out against the far right evangelicals when they forced Grennell to resign.

    Mitt is a puppet who so desperately wants to be President that he doesn't want to upset anyone on the right.
    Check out the move the Hidden. It came out in 1987. It is about a alien that gets insides people bodies and makes them hedonistic, self centered and other things. In one scene the alien is inside a U.S. Senator. He is at a press conference and he is asked about running for President. He says with no emotion.....I want to be President and then he looks at the actor he is playing the person trying to get the Alien and sticks his tongue out at him like a reptile. Romney reminds me of the Senator in that movie.

    May 5, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  9. Four and The Door

    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.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________
    I am sure during negotiations, Obama got the okay from the Taliban for this schedule. They can wait until 2014 to reclaim Afghanistan. Sorry, ladies. Mullah Omar is waiting in the wings and Obama has a tough reelection campaign to think about.

    May 5, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  10. Four and The Door

    Living in the REAL world
    Well, you've only got 8 more months left to get something done before heading back to Chicago so I suggest you get to work on rebuilding the US.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________
    While I agree that Obama will be spending 2013-2016 residing by the Western shores of Lake Michigan, we don't need any more of his version of, "rebuilding" the US. Generally as we have seen, this ends up piling cash from debt into his nonproductive liberal agenda. With his hundreds of $billions thrown at bills in the name of "jobs", the one thing we did not get is "jobs". He has no clue how to grow private sector jobs. That's not what Obama is about. But it is what we need.

    Romney 2012

    May 5, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  11. helenecha

    Stop training Afghanistan troops, or American people are not going to say that President Obama is very sensitive to the trainers’ work.

    May 5, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  12. Gurgyl

    Four is out of mind to support a thug of bain capital. Shipped jobs to china.

    May 5, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  13. Internet Child

    Did Obama forget he just signed away even more money, that we don't have, to Karzai for the next 12 years? Yet another case of blatant lies from the White House...

    May 5, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  14. gg

    so the republicans want to get back on the republican train crash that left the station in 2000–and ended in 2008

    May 5, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  15. Another Day in the RW Idiot Mines

    "Generally as we have seen, this ends up piling cash from debt into his nonproductive liberal agenda."

    Here Four continues to ignore that 80% of "Obama's debt" is actually due to his GOBP cult's policies and programs. Because if people were to remember this, the rest of Four's post looks kind of silly. Pathetic even.

    May 5, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  16. Cowbell

    Wonder how the epilogue will read.

    May 5, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  17. porchhound

    I love this picture...MOST of these soldiers are trying to get the hell OUT of there while a few reach out to him and some take pics..he is NOT well thought of by the service members I have visited with. My guess is he will pull an Al Gore and John Kerry this election and try to get as many absentee ballots from the military thrown out as possible!

    May 5, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |