WOODBURY - President Obama laid out plans to combat global terrorism in his commencement address at West Point this morning.
The president was applauded after telling the Class of 2014 that it is the first since 9/11 who may not be sent into combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. The speech outlined a new foreign policy framework that stresses cooperation with allies, but noted that there still would be times when the U.S. must go it alone.
President Obama said he wants to set aside $5 billion to help other countries fight terrorism, including Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq. The money would also expend the Defense Department's capabilities.
Obama said he will continue to "take direction action" by ordering drone strikes and capture operations against terror suspects "when necessary to protect ourselves."
The speech came as the White House is pushing back against critics who contend that the president's approach to global problems has been too cautious and has emboldened adversaries.
The president plans to keep 9,800 troops in Afghanistan after the war formally ends, and nearly all of them would be out by the end of 2016. Critics, including Seaford Congressman Peter King and Sen. John McCain, say the move is short-sighted and gives the enemy the opportunity to plan their strategy.