Obama to Air Force Grads: The World Loves Us Again!
President Obama told graduating Air Force cadets in Colorado today that the world respects America again thanks to "progress" made since they entered the academy four years ago.
"But as commander in chief, I will not allow us to make the mistakes of the past," he said, detailing what he saw as an "American Century" because "we have the strongest alliances of any nation" and "no other nation seeks the role that we play in global affairs."
Obama promised the grads fewer deployments in the future as "the dark cloud of war" was lifting to "the light of a new day on the horizon."
"Around the world, the United States is leading once more," he said. "From Europe to Asia, our alliances are stronger than ever. Our ties with the Americas are deeper. We’re setting the agenda in the region that will shape our long-term security and prosperity like no other -- the Asia Pacific."
The president said the U.S. is leading on global security, economically, and "on behalf of human dignity and on behalf of freedom."
"Because of this progress, around the world there is a new feeling about America," Obama said. "I see it everywhere I go, from London and Prague, to Tokyo and Seoul, to Rio and Jakarta. There’s a new confidence in our leadership. And when people around the world are asked, which country do you most admire, one nation comes out on top -- the United States of America."
"Of course, the world stage is not a popularity contest," he added. "...But make no mistake, how we’re viewed in the world has consequences -- for our national security and for your lives."
Obama noted that he was last at the academy during Campaign 2008, "a time of extraordinary challenge for our nation," but "today, you step forward into a different world."
"Today, we can say with confidence and pride the United States is stronger and safer and more respected in the world, because even as we’ve done the work of ending these wars, we’ve laid the foundation for a new era of American leadership," Obama continued. "...Let’s start by putting aside the tired notion that says our influence has waned or that America is in decline."