Obama: Today, America Is Safer, More Prosperous and Influential than When I Took Office
OBAMA: "Internationally, I’m proud of the fact that we’ve responsibly ended two wars. Now, people will say, well, you’re back in Iraq, but we’re not back in Iraq with an occupying army, we’re back with a coalition of 60 countries who are helping to stabilize the situation. We are working with Afghan national security forces to help stabilize the situation there. But we don’t have 180,000 troops who are deployed in those two countries. And I think that what we have also done is reflected the best values of America in trying to nurture this nascent democratic movement inside of Burma, in ending what I believe had become a counterproductive policy in Cuba, in strengthening alliances with countries like India, where there’s just enormous potential. Sometimes we don’t pay a lot of attention to it. But I’ve been paying a lot of attention to it, because I think that our future prosperity and security is going to be tied up with how are we doing with 1.2 billion aspiring Indians who share our values and share democracy with us. How are we doing in Latin America with countries that generally are more favorably disposed towards the United States than they have been in a very long time, in part because of the actions that we’ve taken. There are big chunks of the world. Asia Pacific region, where my commitment to rebalancing has led to not only concrete agreements and actions with ASEAN countries, for example, but has also sent a clear message to China that we want to be their partner but that they have to be part of a rule-based system rather than free riders or bullies because of their size and strength. And so one of the things that I’ve learned in this job over the last six years is that sometimes progress is incremental, but when I look at overall the steps that we’ve taken, I believe they are the right ones. And I am very confident that America is stronger, more prosperous, safer, and more influential today than it was when I took office."