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Transition 2012

A guide to foreign policy and the 2012 U.S. presidential transition.

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Convention Update: Dems’ Spotlight on National Security

by Newsteam Staff
September 5, 2012

First lady Michelle Obama addressed the first session of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 4, 2012 (Eric Thayer/Courtesy Reuters). First lady Michelle Obama addressed the first session of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 4, 2012 (Eric Thayer/Courtesy Reuters).


Democrats kicked off their convention in Charlotte, N.C. Tuesday, highlighting Obama administration accomplishments on defense and foreign policy as well as domestic issues such as healthcare, education, and economic policy.

Former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine outlined the policy promises he says President Barack Obama has kept in his first term (Fox), especially national security.

“He said he’d end the war in Iraq, and he has. He said he’d draw down troops in Afghanistan, and today every Virginia National Guard unit is home for the first time in a decade. He said he’d go after bin Laden and take out al-Qaida. He did, and a SEAL team earned our nation’s gratitude. He said he’d pass health care reform, and he did. He promised he’d fight for equal pay for women, college affordability for students and fair treatment for LGBT Americans—and he’s kept his word. He’s a tough leader who gets results.”

Tammy Duckworth, candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Illinois, Iraq combat veteran, and a former assistant secretary of Veterans Affairs, spoke about President Obama’s commitment to U.S. troops and veterans and his successes as commander-in-chief (HuffPost).

“Barack Obama has also lived up to his responsibilities as commander-in-chief, ending the war in Iraq, refocusing on Afghanistan and eradicating terrorist leaders including bin Laden. President Obama pushed for fairness in the military, listening to commanders as we ended ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ and on how to allow women to officially serve in more combat jobs—because America’s daughters are just as capable of defending liberty as her sons. When it comes to our men and women in harm’s way, we have a clear choice on November 6th. Last week, Mitt Romney had a chance to show his support for the brave men and women he is seeking to command. But he chose to criticize President Obama instead of even uttering the word ‘Afghanistan.'”

Convention delegates also agreed on the Democratic party platform, introduced by Newark Mayor Cory Booker (Fox), which includes:

  • ending the war in Iraq and “building a robust, long- term strategic partnership with a sovereign, united, and democratic Iraq in all fields—diplomatic, economic, and security—based on mutual interests and mutual respect.”
  • defeating al-Qaeda.
  • ending the war in Afghanistan and rebuilding the U.S.-Pakistan relationship.
  • preventing the spread of nuclear weapons by reducing U.S. stockpiles; preventing nuclear proliferation, especially in Iran and North Korea; and securing existing nuclear material around the world.
  • countering emerging global threats, such as cyberwarfare, biological threats and climate change and international crime, including human and drug trafficking.
  • strengthening U.S. relationships around the world “with our traditional allies, cultivating partnerships with new centers of influence, and strong U.S. leadership within international institutions,” such as the United Nations.

— Gayle S. Putrich, Contributing Editor

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