President Barack Obama arrives to deliver the commencement address to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point's Class of 2014, Wednesday, May 28, 2014, in West Point, N.Y., Wednesday, May 28, 2014. In a broad defense of his foreign policy, the president declared that the U.S. remains the world's most indispensable nation, even after a "long season of war," but argued for restraint before embarking on more military adventures. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Obama: U.S. leadership more than just military action
By MARK LANDLER
| The New York Times
First Published May 28 2014 07:18 pm • Last Updated May 28 2014 07:53 pm
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West Point, N.Y. » President Barack Obama said Wednesday he will continue to “take direct action” by ordering drone strikes and capture operations against suspected terrorists “when necessary to protect ourselves.” In a speech outlining a foreign policy framework that stresses cooperation with allies, Obama said there still would be times when the U.S. must go it alone. He restated a policy he disclosed last May, however, that no drone strike should occur unless there is “a near certainty” that no civilians will be harmed. That policy has contributed to a reduction in U.S. drone attacks and claims of civilian deaths. The CIA has acknowledged to Congress, though, that a child — the brother of a targeted militant — was killed in a drone strike in Yemen last June.
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