When President Obama took office, America was engaged in two wars and faced terrorist threats at home and abroad directed by Osama bin Laden. Since day one, the President has refocused our priorities on addressing the most serious threats facing our country and on rebuilding our standing in the world.
Take a look at just five ways that President Obama has bolstered our national security.
Taking the fight to al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden: Shortly after taking office, President Obama directed the CIA to make the death or capture of Osama bin Laden its top priority. Now, more than two-thirds of al-Qaeda’s top leaders have been eliminated under the President and bin Laden has been brought to justice. Over the past three and a half years, we’ve eliminated more of al-Qaeda’s top leadership than we did over the previous eight years. In 2011, the Secretary of Defense announced we are “within reach of strategically defeating al-Qaeda.”
Responsibly ended the war in Iraq: As a candidate, then-Senator Obama promised he’d end the war in Iraq. On December 18, 2011—after almost 9 years—the last convoy of U.S. troops left Iraq and the war came to an end. Speaking at Fort Bragg, the President told the troops, “On behalf of a grateful nation, I’m proud to finally say these two words, and I know your families agree: Welcome home.”
Outlined a plan to end the war in Afghanistan: President Obama has announced a plan for Afghan Security Forces to assume full responsibility for the security of their country and to end the war by the end of 2014. The President plans to reinvest half of our spending on overseas operations to rebuild here at home and the other half to pay down the deficit.
Put in place the toughest sanctions Iran has ever faced: Under the President, the U.S. “has already put in place the toughest sanctions ever imposed on the Iranian government, including new measures targeting, for the first time, Iran’s entire financial system.” He also secured global cooperation, including from Russia and China, to impose the most comprehensive and biting international sanctions the Iranian government has ever faced—affecting its nuclear activities, ballistic missile program, and, for the first time, its conventional military.
Reducing the threat of nuclear weapons: As promised, the President worked with Russia to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons and global stockpiles of vulnerable nuclear material. By signing the New START Treaty, Russia and the U.S. agreed to reduce the number of strategic arms deployed in both countries and Russia agreed to allow inspections of its nuclear arsenal to resume.