Entries in Obama Address (2)


Dennis Ross Will Leave Obama Administration

Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Seasoned diplomat Dennis Ross is leaving the White House.

Ross is currently on the National Security Staff, serving as a Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for the “Central Region” — defined as Afghanistan, Middle East, Pakistan, Persian Gulf, and South Asia.

In a statement, Ross said, “After nearly three years of serving in the Administration, I am going to be leaving to return to private life.  I do so with mixed feelings.  It has been an honor to work in the Obama Administration and to serve this President, particularly during a period of unprecedented change in the broader Middle East.  Obviously, there is still work to do but I promised my wife I would return to government for only two years and we both agreed it is time to act on my promise.  I am grateful to President Obama for having given me the opportunity once again to work on a wide array of Middle Eastern issues and challenges and to support his efforts to promote peace in the region.”

Before his current tole he was Secretary of State Clinton’s Special Advisor for the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said that “When Dennis originally joined the Administration, he made it clear that given commitments to his family, he would remain for only two years.  In light of the developments in the broader Middle East, the President appreciates his extending that by nearly a year and looks forward to being able to draw on his council periodically going forward.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Candidate Obama: We'll Take Action Without Pakistan, If Necessary

ABC News (file)(WASHINGTON) -- On August 1, 2007, a young Democratic presidential candidate -- criticized by Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., for being naïve on foreign policy matters -- surprised many of his supporters by pledging to conduct military operations in Pakistan with or without that country's permission.

"I understand that President Musharraf has his own challenges," Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., said of the man who was then president of Pakistan, "but let me make this clear: There are terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans. They are plotting to strike again. It was a terrible mistake to fail to act when we had a chance to take out an al Qaeda leadership meeting in 2005. If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will."

Clinton, then leading in the polls, was then attacking Obama for having said he'd be willing to meet with the leaders of Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Venezuela without preconditions in his first year in office.‬

At the time, Obama's speech, delivered at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., seemed an attempt by the young senator to ramp up his campaign to the next phase, where he hoped to be seen as a president who would pursue a muscular foreign policy and protect the United States from terrorist attack.

He proposed in his speech a more aggressive stance with that nuclear nation, making the "hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. military aid to Pakistan conditional, and I would make our conditions clear: Pakistan must make substantial progress in closing down the training camps, evicting foreign fighters and preventing the Taliban from using Pakistan as a staging area for attacks in Afghanistan."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio