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Obama offers new security strategy at West Point speech

President Barack Obama has offered a new national security doctrine that virtually repudiated his predecessor`s emphasis on unilateral American military.



Washington: President Barack Obama has
offered a glimpse of a new national security doctrine that
virtually repudiated his predecessor`s emphasis on unilateral
American military might as he pledged to shape a new
"international order" based on diplomacy and engagement.

Distancing his administration from that of George W
Bush`s policy of preemptive war, Obama, in a speech to the
graduating class at the elite US Military Academy at West
Point, said America will not retreat against enemies while
seeking "national renewal and global leadership."

While Obama never mentioned his predecessor`s name in
his speech, he has spoken frequently about creating new
alliances, and of attempts to repair the US image abroad after
Bush`s approach was viewed with suspicion in many quarters,
especially in the Muslim world.

Unlike Bush, who traveled to West Point in the wake of
the September 11, 2001, attacks to announce his American-
centered approach to security, Obama yesterday emphasised his
belief in the power of those alliances.

"Yes, we are clear-eyed about the shortfalls of our
international system. But America has not succeeded by
stepping outside the currents of international cooperation,"
he said.

"We have succeeded by steering those currents in the
direction of liberty and justice -- so nations thrive by
meeting their responsibilities, and face consequences when
they don`t," Obama was quoted as saying by Washington Post.
In his speech, Obama, the commander in chief, who is
leading two foreign wars, expressed his faith in cooperation
to confront economic, military and environmental crises.

"The international order we seek is one that can
resolve the challenges of our times," he said.

He identified countering violent extremism and
insurgency, stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and
securing nuclear materials, combating a changing climate and
sustaining global growth as the major tasks ahead.

Recalling his decision announced here six months ago
to send 30,000 reinforcements to Afghanistan, Obama said
difficult days were ahead, but added, "I have no doubt that
together with our Afghan and international partners, we will
succeed in Afghanistan."

But he warned of a "tough fight" ahead as the United
States helps the Afghan people rebuild civil institutions and
a security system so they can battle the Taliban and other
extremists on their own.

"We have brought hope to the Afghan people; now we must
see that their country does not fall prey to our common
enemies," Obama said.

In Iraq, he said, the United States is "poised" to end
its combat operations this summer, leaving behind "an Iraq
that provides no safe haven to terrorists; a democratic Iraq
that is sovereign, stable and self-reliant."

Obama`s speech offered a glimpse of his first official
national security strategy, to be released this week, the New
York Times said.

Obama`s new security strategy, it said includes four
principles: to build strength abroad by building strength at
home through education, clean energy and innovation; to
promote "the renewed engagement of our diplomats" and support
international development; to rebuild alliances; and to
promote human rights and democracy abroad.

PTI

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