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Bush Says US Military Stronger Than Eight Years Ago


U.S. President George Bush says America's military is stronger and better prepared to confront threats than it was before he took office. Speaking Tuesday at West Point military academy, President Bush outlined the defense policies he administered during the last eight years.

President Bush says throughout the period the U.S. military has undergone a transformation for a new kind of war the country is facing now and will continue to face in the future.

President Bush, who leaves office January 20, spoke to the cadets for his last time as commander-in-chief.

Mr. Bush has presided over two long-running wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and in during his eight years in office he said the country has changed its approach to national security. The president said dramatic changes were made in both the military's strategy and the military itself.

"We resolved that we would not wait to be attacked again, and so we went on the offense against the terrorists overseas so we never had to face them here at home," he said.

The president said his administration made it clear that governments that sponsored terror are as guilty as the terrorists, and this doctrine was applied in both Afghanistan and Iraq. He added that the only way to defeat terrorism in the long run is to present an alternative to their ideology.

"We are doing the tough work of helping democratic societies emerge as examples for people all across the Middle East, pressing nations around the world, including our friends, to trust their people with greater freedom of speech, worship, and assembly," said Mr. Bush.

The president said the country has also made significant reductions in the U.S. nuclear arsenal, which he says will be at its lowest level since the Eisenhower administration.

But he said it is important that the country continues to develop the capabilities to fight enemies around the world.

"We must stay on the offensive. We must be determined and we must be relentless to do our duty to protect the American people from harm," President Bush said.

Mr. Bush said the United States must continue to transform the armed forces so the next generation inherits a military capable of advancing the cause of peace.

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