The Herald of Everett, Washington
Customer service  |  Subscribe   |   Log in or sign up   |   Advertising information   |   Contact us
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up  Green editions icon Green editions

Biden says end to wars gives U.S. new flexibility

SHARE: facebook Twitter icon Linkedin icon Google+ icon Email icon |  PRINTER-FRIENDLY  |  COMMENTS
Associated Press
WEST POINT, N.Y. -- Vice President Joe Biden said Saturday that the United States can now focus on new global challenges after a long decade of war in an election-year commencement address to jubilant graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
"Winding down these longs wars has enabled us to replace and rebalance our foreign policy," Biden told the Army cadets and their families at the storied academy's football stadium.
Biden's speech echoed some of the themes of military success struck by President Barack Obama in his commencement address at the U.S. Air Force Academy last Wednesday. Biden, like Obama, said U.S. combat troops have returned home from Iraq, the conflict in Afghanistan is winding down and American commandos killed al-Qaida terrorist leader Osama bin Laden in May 2011.
"Those warriors sent a message to the world that if you harm America, we will follow you to the end of the earth," Biden said.
The academy speeches by Obama and Biden counter an assertion from Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney that the president has led from behind in world affairs. Biden said the United States will continue to take charge internationally and focus on Asia, particularly China, which he called "the most critical relationship to get right."
NATO allies this week affirmed that the war in Afghanistan will halt at the end of 2014. The final U.S. troops left Iraq at the end of last year.
The morning sun beating on the stadium was punishing, but the newly commissioned second lieutenants were ecstatic as they tossed their caps into the air. The new officers said they felt prepared to deal with the dangers of duty.
"I'm ready to sacrifice for those I love. I'm ready to go. Send me!" said 23-year-old TeJay Espe of Stanwood, Wash.
"I know this country has given me a lot and I want to give back, I'm willing to give my life, said J.C. Van't Land, 22, of Hull, Iowa.
Biden told the 972 graduates of the class of 2012 that they deserve special praise because they decided to pursue military service fully aware that they could be fighting a war after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
"Your generation, the 9/11 generation, is more than worthy of the proud legacy that you will inherit today," Biden said.

More Nation & World Headlines


HeraldNet Headlines

Top stories and breaking news updates


Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus