In the days that followed, our nation was united as we struck at Al Qaeda and routed the Taliban in Afghanistan. Then, our focus shifted. A second war was launched in Iraq, and we spent enormous blood and treasure to support a new government there.
Shorter Obama: I wasn't here then. Don't blame me.
By the time I took office, the war in Afghanistan had entered its seventh year. But Al Qaeda’s leaders had escaped into Pakistan and were plotting new attacks, while the Taliban had regrouped and gone on the offensive. Without a new strategy and decisive action, our military commanders warned that we could face a resurgent Al Qaeda, and a Taliban taking over large parts of Afghanistan.
Shorter Obama: I inherited this mess thanks to Bush taking his eye off the ball.
For this reason, in one of the most difficult decisions that I’ve made as President, I ordered an additional 30,000 American troops into Afghanistan. When I announced this surge at West Point, we set clear objectives: to refocus on Al Qaeda; reverse the Taliban’s momentum; and train Afghan Security Forces to defend their own country.
Shorter Obama: Wasn't that Presidential of me, announcing a big military operation at a prestigious military academy? I even placated some neocons by sending in more troops!
Over the last decade, we have spent a trillion dollars on war, at a time of rising debt and hard economic times. Now, we must invest in America’s greatest resource – our people.
Shorter Obama: C'mon, you think spreading the wealth around is cheap? People expect me to pay their mortgages and utility bills.
We must unleash innovation that creates new jobs and industry, while living within our means.
Shorter Obama: Government need not apply.
We must rebuild our infrastructure and find new and clean sources of energy. And most of all, after a decade of passionate debate, we must recapture the common purpose that we shared at the beginning of this time of war. For our nation draws strength from our differences, and when our union is strong no hill is too steep and no horizon is beyond our reach.
America, it is time to focus on nation building here at home.
Shorter Obama: I'm Barack H. Obama and I'm seeking re-election as President of the United States.