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Thursday, December 16

Text of President Obama's speech on Afghan War

December 16

Good morning, everybody. When I announced our new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan last December, I directed my national security team to regularly assess our efforts and to review our progress after one year. That's what we've done consistently over the course of the past 12 months —- in weekly updates from the field, in monthly meetings with my national security team, and in my frequent consultations with our Afghan, Pakistani and coalition partners. And that's what we've done as part of our annual review, which is now complete.

Blah blah blah. Blah. Blah blah blah, blah -- blah blah; blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah (1) blah blah. (2) blah blah. (2.1) Blah, blah, blah. (3) Blahblahblah. Blah. (4) Blah blah: blah blah, blah, blah blah blah.

Finally, we will continue to focus on our relationship with Pakistan. Increasingly, the Pakistani government recognizes that terrorist networks in its border regions are a threat to all our countries, especially Pakistan. We've welcomed major Pakistani offensives in the tribal regions. We will continue to help strengthen Pakistanis' capacity to root out terrorists. Nevertheless, progress has not come fast enough. So we will continue to insist to Pakistani leaders that terrorist safe havens within their borders must be dealt with.

At the same time, we need to support the economic and political development that is critical to Pakistan's future. As part of our strategic dialogue with Pakistan, we will work to deepen trust and cooperation. We'll speed up our investment in civilian institutions and projects that improve the lives of Pakistanis. We'll intensify our efforts to encourage closer cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Blah blah blah. Blah. Blah blah blah, blah -- blah blah; blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah (5) blah blah. (6) blah blah. (7) Blah, blah, blah. (8) Blahblahblah. Blah. (8.1) Blah blah: blah blah, blah, blah blah blah.

So, with that, Vice President Biden and myself will depart, and I'm going to turn it over to Secretaries Clinton, Gates, as well as Vice Chairman Cartwright, and they will be able to answer your questions and give you a more detailed briefing.

Thank you very much.

[Here is the White House version of what Obama said.]

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