As he prepares to head to the Middle East and Europe Senator Barack Obama will deliver a speech on Iraq and national security at the Reagan Building today, where he will outline his goals to make the United States safer. According to excerpts released by the campaign, the goals include ending the war in Iraq, wrapping up the fight against al Qaeda, securing nuclear weapons from rogue states, achieving energy security and rebuilding alliances.
“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,” Obama is expected to say.
Obama’s speech will largely focus on the need to redeploy troops from Iraq to Afghanistan, where nine U.S. soldiers were killed on Sunday. While emphasizing that the Taliban is in control of parts of Afghanistan and Al Qaeda is expanding in to Pakistan, Obama will say, “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.”
Pakistan is an essential part of Obama’s national security plan, and he will highlight the importance of U.S. cooperation with the country. Obama, who supports a bill to triple non-military aid to Pakistan, will say, “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.”
Later today, after Obama’s speech, McCain will criticize Obama from Albuquerque, N.M for talking about his plans before going to the Middle East and before talking with General Petraeus according to McCain’s campaign.
Obama is planning to visit Europe and the Middle East, including Iraq, Israel and the West Bank, later this month.
Read Obama’s entire speech here as prepared for delivery: http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/amandascott/gGxkFr