U.S. President Barack Obama (C) attends the graduation ceremony at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, the United States, on May 28, 2014. Obama said here Wednesday that he believes in the foreseeable future, terrorism remains the most direct threat to America at home and abroad. (Xinhua/Wang Lei)
WEST POINT, the United States, May 28 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama said here Wednesday that he believes terrorism remains the most direct threat to America at home and abroad in the foreseeable future.
The president made the remarks while addressing the Class of 2014 graduation ceremony at the elite United States Military Academy at West Point.
Obama, however, stressed that the United States must shift its counterterrorism strategy, calling the practice of invading every country that harbors terrorist networks "naive and unsustainable."
Drawing on the successes and shortcomings of its experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, America should "more effectively partner with countries where terrorist networks seek a foothold," said Obama.
Citing Afghanistan as an example, he said that the United States has trained hundreds of thousands of Afghan soldiers and police to do the security job in their own country, and that America's combat mission in the Central Asian state will be over by the end of this year.
Obama announced on Tuesday that the last American solider would leave Afghanistan at the end of 2016.
"Now, as we move to a train-and-advise mission in Afghanistan, our reduced presence there will allow us to more effectively address emerging threats in the Middle East and North Africa," he said in the West Point address.
The president said that he is calling on the U.S. Congress to support a new Counterterrorism Partnership Fund of up to 5 billion dollars, which will help train, build capacity and facilitate partner countries on the frontlines.
Obama emphasized that the partnership he has described does not eliminate the need to take direct action when necessary to protect America itself, but they must uphold standards that reflect U.S. values.
The president also stressed that he will increasingly turn to the military to take the lead and provide information to the public about the U.S. efforts, to be more transparent about both the basis for U.S. actions and the manner in which they are carried out.
Obama reiterated the principle he put forward at the outset of his presidency that the United States will use military force, unilaterally if necessary, when its core interests demand it -- when Americans are threatened; when their livelihood is at stake; or when the security of their allies is in danger.
However, on the other hand, the president noted two circumstances under which the United States should take military action and mobilize allies and partners to take collective action even when those issues do not pose a direct threat to the country.
He referred them as when crises arise that stir Americans' conscience or push the world in a more dangerous direction.
"Then the threshold for military action must be higher," said Obama.
In such circumstances, the president believed the United States must broaden the tools to include diplomacy and development, appealing to multilateral military action.
The United States Military Academy at West Point, also known as West Point, is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located in West Point, New York. It has been educating and training leaders of character for U.S. Army and for the nation since more than 200 years ago, providing a 47-month leader- development program steeped in academic rigor, military discipline, and physical challenges.
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