The key to American leadership, said President Barack Obama in his State of the Union speech, is to combine military power with strong diplomacy.
With regard to the terrorist threat, the United States stands with people around the world who have been targeted by extremists, said President Obama:
“We will continue to hunt down terrorists and dismantle their networks, and we reserve the right to act unilaterally, as we have done relentlessly since I took office to take out terrorists who pose a direct threat to us and our allies.”
The U.S. is partnering with nations from South Asia to North America in an effort to deny safe havens to terrorists who threaten America. In Iraq and Syria, American leadership, including U.S. military power, is halting ISIL’s advance. The U.S. is leading a broad coalition, including Arab nations, to degrade and ultimately defeat this terrorist group.
The U.S. is also demonstrating the power of American strength and diplomacy by opposing Russian aggression and supporting Ukraine’s democracy.
Regarding Cuba, the U.S. is ending its 50-year-old policy of isolation in favor of constructive engagement.
Diplomacy is also at work with respect to Iran, where for the first time in a decade, the U.S. has halted the progress of Iran’s nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material.
Looking ahead, an increasingly important issue will be cyber security. “No hacker,” said President Obama, “should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets, or invade the privacy of American families, especially our kids.” The U.S. is making sure it integrates intelligence to combat cyber threats, just as it has done to combat terrorism.
In West Africa U.S. troops, scientists, and healthcare workers are rolling Ebola back and saving countless lives. While, in the Asia Pacific, the U.S. is modernizing its alliances making sure other nations play by the rules in trade and maritime disputes.
The United States is committed to matching its power with diplomacy, building new coalitions, and leading always with the example of its values. “That’s what makes us exceptional,” said President Obama. “That’s what keeps us strong.”