President calls for new chapter in Afghanistan, says it's time to focus on nation-building at homeEchoing Tuesday's address to the nation, President Obama called for a new chapter in Afghanistan where responsibility shifts toward the Afghan people:
"Because of the progress we've made, I was able to sign a historic agreement between the United States and Afghanistan that defines a new kind of relationship between our countries -- a future in which Afghans are responsible for the security of their nation, and we build an equal partnership between two sovereign states; a future in which the war ends, and a new chapter begins."President Obama turned his attention to American troops returning from Afghanistan, asking the question, "What kind of country will they come back to?":
"As a new greatest generation returns from overseas, we must ask ourselves, what kind of country will they come back to? Will it be a country where a shrinking number of Americans do really well while a growing number barely get by? Or will it be a country where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules -- a country with opportunity worthy of the troops who protect us?"Discussing America's promise of opportunity, President Obama stressed the need to make responsible decisions at home. Specifically, President Obama urged that funds formerly spent in Afghanistan be directed towards priorities to rebuild America:
"I don't think we should prioritize things like more tax cuts for millionaires while cutting the kinds of investments that build a strong middle class. That's why I've called on Congress to take the money we're no longer spending at war, use half of it to pay down our debt, and use the other half to rebuild America. Because we've got more jobs to create. More students to educate. More clean energy to generate. More entrepreneurs with the next great idea, just looking for their shot at success. We've got to invest in things like education and medical research. We've got to build newer, faster transportations and communications networks. And we've got to secure the care and benefits our veterans have earned, so that we serve them as well as they have served us."