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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Filling Gaps in the White House Website, Part 69

From a July 22 interview with Voice of America:
Q. 14:26:01 You mentioned military budgets, and I’m sure that one of your considerations for the withdrawal, is the cost of the war. A broader question is to what extent does the current budget crisis drive your foreign policy in terms of what the U.S. can and can’t do? 14:26:19

A. 14:26:20 The truth is that these considerations were not based on budgetary calculations. They were based on a strategy that I had laid out 18 months ago, and I wanted to make sure that we abided by because I made a commitment to the American people that the surge would only last for 18-24 months. 14:26:44 First and foremost, it was driven by the strategic recognition, that the only way for us to have a secure Afghanistan over the long term, is to make sure that Afghans have capacity and that we can’t patrol villages and police their streets. Ultimately, Afghans have to do that. 14:27:08 What is no doubt true, is that the United States has carried an enormous burden financially, from not only the Afghan war, but the Iraq war. One of the arguments that I made in talking to the American people about this drawdown is that our strength, our power, has always been based first and foremost on our own economic strength and prosperity. We have to be more judicious in how we project power. That’s good strategy. It’s good for our national security. It happens to also be good for our budget. 14:27:45