At VFW Event, Obama Praises Veterans, Defends Afghanistan Strategy
Updated 2:12 p.m.
By Michael D. Shear
PHOENIX, Aug. 17 -- President Obama said Monday that fierce fighting rages on in Afghanistan, but he defended the administration's new approach to the conflict there, calling it a "war of necessity."
Speaking to the annual gathering of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Obama praised the American troops in Afghanistan who are helping to secure the country ahead of elections there this week.
"As I said when I announced this strategy, there will be more difficult days ahead," Obama said. "The insurgency in Afghanistan didn't just happen overnight. And we won't defeat it overnight. This will not be quick. This will not be easy."
In his speech to about 5,500 people at the convention center here, the president paid homage to the nation's veterans, and he promised that his efforts to overhaul the nation's health-care system will not affect the benefits they receive from the government.
For a full transcript of Obama's remarks, click here.
Posted at 1:29 PM ET on Aug 17, 2009
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