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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.

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For a full transcript of Obama's remarks, click here.

By Web Politics Editor  |  August 17, 2009; 1:29 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama , National Security  
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Obama blasts misspending on 'exotic' defense projects

now if this isn't the pot calling the kettle leftwing nutcase will think I just made a racist remark!

Posted by: JWx2 | August 18, 2009 5:42 AM | Report abuse

It is important that the UK continue to support and expand its armed forces over this coming decade. As an American, I view the UK as a our most important ally and one that must be able to support, independently if required, action around the globe. Furthermore, Europe requires a miltary power in order to afford it importance at the table of the world powers and the UK is the only country that has the capabilities to achieve this goal. Lastly, the ability to undertake independent actions is critical to the UK's world role. I would like to think that the US will come to the aid of its allies, but this is a foolish thought, with that in mind I believe that the UK must continue to make the investments in its military capabilities, in fact grow them from where they are today. Britian has been a force for good longer than most countries and needs to continue that role.

Famous Philanthropists

Posted by: lpopo85 | August 18, 2009 3:59 AM | Report abuse

The irony of the armed protesters is that they are making an excellent case for Obama defending their rights. Under Bush such public presidential events were highly controlled and you can bet that Cheney would have rounded up anyone with a gun and shipped them to Gitmo under terror provisions without even a stop at the secret court. And that Rush would have defended him. I love America.

Posted by: MstrQ | August 17, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that Obama found time to sneak in a health care plug - in John McCain's hometown, no less...

Posted by: parkerfl1 | August 17, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Too bad baby-Bush took his eye off the ball and had his neo-con wet dream in Iraq. Yup! We sure showed those Iraqi's!

That trillion dollars given away to his steroid-pumped, wife-swapping evangelical mercenaries from Blackwater, sure would've helped the economy now, huh?

At last, some sanity in foreign policy. You just can't trust Republicans.

Posted by: thebobbob | August 17, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

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