Defeating Al Qaeda within reach: Obama
WASHINGTON (PAN): US President Barack Obama on Saturday said that the goal of defeating Al Qaeda and denying it the chance to rebuild was within reach.
“We have broken Al Qaeda’s momentum. We’ve built strong Afghan security forces,” Obama said in his weekly address to the nation, days after his return from Afghanistan where he signed the US-Afghan strategic partnership agreement with President Hamid Karzai.
“We have devastated Al Qaeda’s leadership. And one year ago, our troops launched the operation that killed Osama bin Laden. The goal that I set to defeat Al Qaeda and deny it a chance to rebuild is within reach,” added the president.
Obama noted the progress that enabled him to sign the pact with Afghanistan that defined a new kind of bilateral relationship, a future in which Afghans were responsible for the security of their nation.
“We build an equal partnership between two sovereign states, a future in which the war ends and a new chapter begins,” remarked the president, who added the sacrifices of American men and women in uniform were not over.
But many of the troops are already coming home. Last year, 10,000 US troops from returned Afghanistan, while another 23,000 will leave by end of the summer.
"As our coalition partners, agreed by the end of 2014, the Afghans will be fully responsible for the security of their country. And this is as it should be. Because after more than a decade of war, it is time to focus on nation-building here at home,” he said.
Obama explained as the American troops returned from Afghanistan, the country should spend the money thus saved on rebuilding the economy and paying its huge debts.
“I’ve called on Congress to take the money we’re no longer spending at war, use half of it to pay down our debt, and use the other half to rebuild America,” he concluded.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.