In the annual State of the Union address, President Barack Obama said American success in the new century will require the United States to defeat determined enemies, and build coalitions that cut across lines of region, race, and religion.
In Iraq, America's mission is drawing to a successful close. Nearly, one-hundred thousand U.S. troops have left the country. American combat patrols have ended, violence is down, and a new government has been formed.
The U.S continues to take the fight to al-Qaida and its allies abroad. In Afghanistan, U.S. troops have taken Taliban strongholds and trained Afghan security forces. "Our purpose is clear," said President Obama:
"By preventing the Taliban from reestablishing a stranglehold over the Afghan people, we will deny al-Qaida the safe haven that served as a launching pad for 9/11. Thanks to our heroic troops and civilians, fewer Afghans are under the control of the insurgency. There will be tough fighting ahead, and the Afghan government will need to deliver better governance. But we are strengthening the capacity of the Afghan people and building an enduring partnership with them."
In Pakistan, al-Qaida's leadership is under more pressure than at any point since 2001, said President Obama:
"Their leaders and operatives are being removed from the battlefield. Their safe havens are shrinking. And we've sent a message from the Afghan border to the Arabian Peninsula to all parts of the globe: We will not relent, we not waver and we will defeat you."
Elsewhere in the world, the U.S. has signed a new START treaty with Russia, which means that far fewer nuclear weapons and launchers will be deployed. Iran is going to continue to face pressure unless and until it seriously addresses the international community’s concerns about its nuclear program.
On the Korean Peninsula, the U.S. and South Korea insist that North Korea keep its commitment to abandon nuclear weapons. And in Tunisia and Sudan, the United States stands with the people in support of their democratic aspirations.
"America's moral example," said President Obama, "must always shine for all who yearn for freedom and justice and dignity."