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Obama: Bill Burton's Morning Email, 15 Jul 2008

Obama Campaign Morning Briefing E-mail From Spokesperson Bill Burton

** excerpts of todays speech on Iraq below**

THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN TODAY - TUESDAY, JULY 15

On tap for today:

Barack Obama will deliver a major policy address on Iraq and national security at the International Trade Center in Washington DC tomorrow morning. Senator Obama will outline his strategy for addressing the most pressing threats facing America, which requires bringing the war to a responsible end, finishing the fight in Afghanistan, and pursuing our broader strategic objectives in the world.

The event will take place The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Program begins at 10:45 AM EDT.

Senator Obama will also appear in taped segments on the Newshour and Larry King Live this evening, at 6:00 PM and 9:00 PM EDT respectively.

New Challenges for a New World

By any measure, our single-minded and open-ended focus on Iraq is not a sound strategy for keeping America safe. Weve been distracted from our most pressing threats, and weve pushed the entire burden of our foreign policy on to the brave men and women of our military--while neglected the other elements of American power. And weve alienated ourselves from the world instead of strengthening our alliances.

As President, Barack Obama will lead this country in a new direction by focusing on five goals essential to making America safer:

1. Ending the war in Iraq responsibly;

2. Finishing the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban;

3. Securing all nuclear weapons and materials from terrorists and rogue nations;

4. Achieving true energy security;

5. Rebuilding our alliances to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

EXCERPTS

Our men and women in uniform have accomplished every mission we have given them. Whats missing in our debate about Iraq - what has been missing since before the war began - is a discussion of the strategic consequences of Iraq and its dominance of our foreign policy. This war distracts us from every threat that we face and so many opportunities we could seize. This war diminishes our security, our standing in the world, our military, our economy, and the resources that we need to confront the challenges of the 21st century. By any measure, our single-minded and open-ended focus on Iraq is not a sound strategy for keeping America safe.

I am running for President of the United States to lead this country in a new direction -to seize this moments promise. Instead of being distracted from the most pressing threats that we face, I want to overcome them. Instead of pushing the entire burden of our foreign policy on to the brave men and women of our military, I want to use all elements of American power to keep us safe, and prosperous, and free. Instead of alienating ourselves from the world, I want America - once again - to lead.
"As President, I will pursue a tough, smart and principled national security strategy - one that recognizes that we have interests not just in Baghdad, but in Kandahar and Karachi, in Tokyo and London, in Beijing and Berlin. I will focus this strategy on five goals essential to making America safer: ending the war in Iraq responsibly; finishing the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban; securing all nuclear weapons and materials from terrorists and rogue states; achieving true energy security; and rebuilding our alliances to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

***

In fact - as should have been apparent to President Bush and Senator McCain - the central front in the war on terror is not Iraq, and it never was. Thats why the second goal of my new strategy will be taking the fight to al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

It is unacceptable that almost seven years after nearly 3,000 Americans were killed on our soil, the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 are still at large. Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahari are recording messages to their followers and plotting more terror. The Taliban controls parts of Afghanistan. Al Qaeda has an expanding base in Pakistan that is probably no farther from their old Afghan sanctuary than a train ride from Washington to Philadelphia. If another attack on our homeland comes, it will likely come from the same region where 9/11 was planned. And yet today, we have five times more troops in Iraq than Afghanistan.

Senator McCain said - just months ago - that Afghanistan is not in trouble because of our diversion to Iraq. I could not disagree more. Our troops and our NATO allies are performing heroically in Afghanistan, but I have argued for years that we lack the resources to finish the job because of our commitment to Iraq. Thats what the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said earlier this month. And thats why, as President, I will make the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban the top priority that it should be. This is a war that we have to win.

***

Make no mistake: we cant succeed in Afghanistan or secure our homeland unless we change our Pakistan policy. We must expect more of the Pakistani government, but we must offer more than a blank check to a General who has lost the confidence of his people. Its time to strengthen stability by standing up for the aspirations of the Pakistani people. Thats why Im cosponsoring a bill with Joe Biden and Richard Lugar to triple non-military aid to the Pakistani people and to sustain it for a decade, while ensuring that the military assistance we do provide is used to take the fight to the Taliban and al Qaeda. We must move beyond a purely military alliance built on convenience, or face mounting popular opposition in a nuclear-armed nation at the nexus of terror and radical Islam.

ENDS

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