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US delivered justice to bin Laden, says Obama

January 06, 2012 01:49 IST

United States President Barack Obama on Thursday said that the US has delivered justice to Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and put his terror group on the path of defeat.

"We've decimated Al Qaeda's leadership, delivered justice to Osama bin Laden, and put that terrorist network on the path to defeat," Obama said in his rare appearance at the Pentagon, the head office of the US department of Defense.

"We've made important progress in Afghanistan, and begun a transition so Afghans can assume more responsibility. We joined with allies and partners to protect the Libyan people as they ended the regime of Muammar Gaddafi," he said, adding that the US has now ended the war in Afghanistan.

"Now, we're turning the page on a decade of war. Three years ago, we had some 180,000 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, we've cut that number in half. And as the transition in Afghanistan continues, more of our troops will continue to come home. More broadly, around the globe we've strengthened alliances, forged new partnerships, and served as a force for universal rights and human dignity," Obama said.

"In short, we've succeeded in defending our nation, taking the fight to our enemies, reducing the number of Americans serving in harm's way, and restoring America's global leadership. That makes us safer and it makes us stronger. And that's an achievement that every American -- and every man and woman in uniform -- can be proud of," he said.

This success has brought our nation, once more, to a moment of transition, Obama said, adding that even as the US troops continue to fight in Afghanistan, the tide of war is receding.

"Even as our forces prevail in today's missions, we have the opportunity -- and the responsibility -- to look ahead to the force we need for the future," he said.

Obama said over the past 10 years, since 9/11, US defence budget grew at an extraordinary pace.

Over the next 10 years, the growth in the defence budget will slow, but the fact of the matter is this -- it will still grow, because the US has global responsibilities that demand its leadership.

"In fact, the defence budget will still be larger than it was toward the end of the Bush Administration. And I firmly believe, and I think the American people understand, that we can keep our military strong -- and our nation secure -- with a defense budget that continues to be larger than roughly the next 10 countries combined," Obama said.

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