‘US alone can’t bear burdens of century’

US President Barack Obama declared on Saturday the US cannot act alone in the world and pledged to shape a new “international order” as part of a national security strategy to seal his break with Bush-era policies. Setting out

his vision for keeping America safe as it fights wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Mr Obama stressed international engagement over predecessor George W. Bush’s “cowboy diplomacy” and signalled his likely repudiation of Mr Bush’s justifications for pre-emptive war. “The burdens of this century cannot fall on our soldiers alone, it also cannot fall on American shoulders alone,” Mr Obama told graduating cadets at the US Military Academy at West Point. “Our adversaries would like to see America sap its strength by overextending our power.”
Mr Obama’s speech previewed his new National Security Strategy — required by law of every US President — to be released next week. His words suggested it would deviate sharply from Mr Bush’s go-it-alone approach that placed US power over diplomacy in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks.
Mr Bush in 2002 laid out the “Bush Doctrine” asserting the right to wage pre-emptive war against countries and terrorist groups deemed a threat to the United States, part of a policy he called a “distinctly American internationalism.” What followed was the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq despite the lack of formal UN authorisation. Since taking office, the Obama administration has fuelled speculation that the President’s new strategy will officially back away from that controversial concept. —Reuters

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