|U.S. President Barack Obama (C) waves after delivering the State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress as Vice President Joe Biden (L) and U.S. House Speaker John Boehner applaud on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, Jan. 28, 2014. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun)
WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday night voiced his opposition to large-scale military deployments overseas, promising to seek diplomatic means to ensure U.S. leadership and security.
"I will not send our troops into harm's way unless it's truly necessary," the president told a joint session of Congress in his annual State of the Union address.
"We must fight the battles that need to be fought, not those that terrorists prefer from us -- large-scale deployments that drain our strength and may ultimately feed extremism," he added.
As commander-in-chief, Obama said, he has used force to protect the American people and will never hesitate to do so during his office, but he "strongly believe our leadership and our security cannot depend on our military alone."
"Even as we aggressively pursue terrorist networks ...America must move off a permanent war footing," he said.
Obama hailed American diplomacy as a strong force behind the country's security and leadership, contending that it is through diplomatic means that Syria's chemical weapons are being eliminated and Iran's nuclear program have been halted.
"In a world of complex threats, our security and leadership depends on all elements of our power -- including strong and principled diplomacy," the president said.
Obama also called on Congress to lift restrictions on transferring detainees from the prison at Guantanamo Bay so that it can be closed this year.
"We counter terrorism not just through intelligence and military action, but by remaining true to our constitutional ideals, and setting an example for the rest of the world," he said.
Obama vows to tackle inequality, stalled upward mobility
WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday pledged to reverse the trends of deepening inequality and stalling upward mobility, as yawning wealth gap has left the country increasingly divided.
In his State of the Union address, Obama said he will act on his own, and work with the Congress to raise minimum wages, secure middle-class' s retirement, extend emergency insurance for the unemployed and remove tax breaks for the wealthiest. Full story
Obama threatens again to veto new sanctions bill on Iran
WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama reiterated Tuesday that he would veto any new sanctions bill against Iran as world powers are in talks with Tehran to reach a comprehensive deal on its nuclear programs.
"If this Congress sends me a new sanctions bill now that threatens to derail these talks, I will veto it," Obama said in his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress. Full story
Obama seeks authority to advance trade negotiations
WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday night urged Congress to give the administration what is known as "fast track" trade legislation to advance the ongoing free trade negotiations with Asia-Pacific and European countries in his second term.
"We need to work together on tools like bipartisan trade promotion authority to protect our workers, protect our environment, and open new markets to new goods stamped 'Made in the USA'," said Obama in his State of the Union address to Congress. Full story