No easy answers in Syria, Obama says - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

No easy answers in Syria, Obama says

No easy answers in Syria, Obama says

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President Obama commented on America's response to some global hot spots like Ukraine and  Syria. (Source: CNN) President Obama commented on America's response to some global hot spots like Ukraine and Syria. (Source: CNN)

WEST POINT, NY (CNN) - With critics and supporters watching from around the globe, President Obama laid out his foreign policy vision while addressing this year's West Point graduates.

"The United States will use military force, unilaterally if necessary, when our core interests demand it," he said.

The president's speech comes just one day after announcing a plan to bring home more than 20,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year, one of a handful of achievements he touted during the 45-minute address.

"Al-Qaida's leadership in the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan has been decimated, and Osama bin Laden is no more," Obama said.

The president focused on a number of global hot spots, like Syria.

"There are no easy answers there, no military solution that can eliminate the terrible suffering anytime soon," Obama said.

He expressed optimism over handling Iran's nuclear program.

"We have a very real chance of achieving a breakthrough agreement," he said.

And he addressed the standoff between Russia and Ukraine.

"Russia's aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe," Obama said.

The president stressed America will use military force when necessary, but added, "we must mobilize allies and partners to take collective action."

Critics, like Republican Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, were quick to call the president's vision flawed.

"The president should have learned the lesson from Iraq. He's making the same mistake in Afghanistan. Setting a date for total withdrawal. Sending a message to the Taliban, all you got to do is wait," McCain said.

And the president is also asking Congress for a $5 billion counterterrorism fund that would be used to provide resources for responding to emerging terrorist threats around the world.

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