Last night President Obama outlined his administration’s strategy and plans for a troop build-up and eventual draw down of forces in Afghanistan during a 35-minute nationally-televised speech from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Two points stood out for me: One from the speech itself and one from the context.
At several points during the second half of the speech, the president reiterated his view that our national security and our homeland security are deeply intertwined. In particular, he emphasized connections between the cost of the war and the parlous state of our economy.
The president made a point of identifying how important it is for the American people to support the peoples of Afghanistan and Pakistan. In doing so he drew a connection between our efforts there and efforts over the past 60 years starting in Europe to build a wide range of international institutions that have enabled security and prosperity not only for the United States but for other nations as well.