Obama speaks about U.S. leadership, drone strikes, Syria at U.S. Military Academy

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) -- President Barack Obama says the United States must lead on the world stage, but also show restraint before rushing into military operations overseas.

Obama is outlining his foreign policy vision for his final two years during a commencement address at the U.S. Military Academy.

Obama says the U.S. is emerging from a long period of war. But he says isolationism isn't an option in the 21st century.

He says the U.S. will use force when necessary, but is stronger when it doesn't act alone.

Obama also says he plans to work with Congress to increase support for the Syrian opposition.

The speech comes a day after Obama offered a blueprint for ending the U.S. military engagement in Afghanistan.
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WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) -- President Obama says he will continue to "take direct action" by ordering drone strikes and capture operations against terror suspects "when necessary to protect ourselves."

In a speech outlining a new foreign policy framework stressing cooperation with allies, the president said there still would be times when the U.S. must go it alone. He restated a policy he disclosed last May, however, that no drone strike should occur unless there is "a near certainty" that no civilians will be harmed.

That policy has contributed to a reduction in U.S. drone attacks and claims of civilian deaths. The CIA has acknowledged to Congress, though, that a child -- the brother of a targeted militant -- was killed in a drone strike in Yemen last June.
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WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) -- President Barack Obama says he'll work with Congress to increase support for members of the Syrian opposition who offer the best alternative to terrorists and to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Obama is calling on Congress to support a $5 billion counterterrorism fund that would help support Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq. All those countries have Syrian refugees and they're confronting terrorists working across Syria's borders.

Obama also used a speech Wednesday at the U.S. Military Academy to reaffirm his decision not to put American troops in the middle of the Syrian civil war.

The conflict is now in its fourth year. More than 162,000 people have been killed and one-third of Syria's prewar population of 23 million has been displaced.


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