WEST POINT, N.Y. — President Barack Obama declared Wednesday that the U.S. remains the world's most indispensable nation, even after a "long season of war," but argued for restraint before embarking on more military adventures.
Standing before the newest class of officers graduating from the U.S. Military Academy, Obama said, "I would betray my duty to you, and to the country we love, if I sent you into harm's way simply because I saw a problem somewhere in the world that needed fixing, or because I was worried about critics who think military intervention is the only way for America to avoid looking weak."
Obama's speech came as the White House seeks to push back against critics who contend that the president's approach to global problems has been too cautious and has emboldened adversaries. Obama and his advisers say his efforts to keep the U.S. out of more military conflicts are in line with the views of the American public.
Even as the U.S. emerges from the two wars that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Obama said terrorism remains the most direct threat to American security. But he argued that as the threat has shifted from a centralized al-Qaida to an array of affiliates, the American response must change too.
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