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U.S. President Lauds Afghan Progress in State of the Union

U.S. President George W. Bush announced the commitment of 3,200 Marines to Afghanistan and highlighted gains made in Afghanistan’s reconstruction during his December 28 State of the Union address. Much of the speech – an annual assessment of major issues facing the U.S. government – was dedicated to the major domestic and international challenges of the coming year. Emphasizing the gravity of this moment in history, President said that the choices made by this Congress will “affect the security and prosperity,” in the world for years to come. While citing concerns about legislation funding the U.S. missions in Iraq in Afghanistan, President Bush highlighted the bi-partisan and international consensus in supporting stability in Afghanistan. “In Afghanistan, America, our 25 NATO allies and 15 partner nations are helping the Afghan people defend their freedom and rebuild their country,” he said.  “Defeating the Taliban and Al Qaida is critical to our security, and I thank the Congress for supporting America's vital mission in Afghanistan.”

President Bush identified education as one of the major achievements of post-Taliban Afghanistan. “A nation that was once a safe haven for Al Qaida is now a young democracy where boys and girls are going to school,” he said. “New roads and hospitals are being built. And people are looking to the future with new hope.”

President Bush’s remarks reinforced the U.S. commitment to a stable, secure Afghanistan. “These successes must continue,” he said.

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