New Focus After Iraq

Wednesday, September 1, 2010 - 8:19am

NBC's Tracie Potts takes a look ahead at the President's agenda following the primetime speech on Iraq.

"The American combat mission in Iraq has ended," said President Obama.

With combat troops out of Iraq, President Obama announced a new mission.

"Our most urgent task is to restore our economy," said President Obama.

He blamed massive deficits on financing nearly a decade of war with borrowed money. His focus now is jobs and Afghanistan.

He promised the pullout there will begin next summer, "…Because open-ended war serves neither our interests nor the Afghan people's."

Republicans criticized the President for opposing the Bush surge that turned things around in Iraq.

House Minority Leader John Boehner said, "Some leaders who opposed, criticized, and fought tooth-and-nail to stop the surge strategy now proudly claim credit for the results."

Today's focus: the Middle East.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, "We pledge do all we can always to protect and defend the state of Israel."

Today President Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas before formal talks begin in Washington tomorrow.

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