President Barack Obama on Monday vowed to renew “strong alliances” around the world, saying that the United States was committed to finding security without “perpetual war.”
“America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe,” Obama said from the Capitol steps as he was inaugurated for a second term.
“And we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has the greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation,” Obama said.
Pointing to the end of the Iraq war and the coming withdrawal of US troops in Afghanistan, Obama said: “We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.”
But Obama vowed to “support democracy — from Asia to Africa, from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom.”
“And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice — not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes: tolerance and opportunity, human dignity and justice.”
The Obama administration has strengthened ties with US allies in Asia in response to what several nations see as growing assertiveness by China.
The inauguration comes amid France’s intervention against Islamist guerrillas in Mali, amid criticism from some US commentators that the United States has not been more forthcoming in assisting Paris.