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Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 4:54 EDT

Obama: Iraq ‘Distracts’ From U.S. Security

July 15, 2008

Likely Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Barack Obama says the Iraq war is distracting the country from every threat that we face and must be ended.

During a speech delivered Tuesday in advance of a fact-finding trip to the Middle East, Sen. Obama, D-Ill., said the United States’ single-minded and open-ended focus on Iraq is not a sound strategy for keeping America safe, and promised to lead the country in a new direction in its foreign policy.

This war distracts us from every threat that we face and so many opportunities we could seize, Obama said at the International Trade Center in Washington. This war diminishes our security, our standing in the world, our military, our economy, and the resources that we need to confront the challenges of the 21st century.

Obama promised as president to pursue a five-part national security plan, including ending the war in Iraq responsibly; putting more resources into fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan; securing nuclear weapons from terrorists and rogue states; achieving true energy security; and rebuilding our alliances to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Likely Republican presidential nominee, U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Obama is pre-judging the Iraq situation before actually traveling there.