From VOA Learning English, this is In The News.
President Barack Obama this week announced plans for bringing America's longest war to what he called a responsible end. He said that this year the United States will finish its combat operations in Afghanistan, and give Afghan forces control of the country's security. Mr. Obama said that after 2014, 9,800 U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan. But he said they all could be withdrawn if Afghan leaders do not sign a joint security agreement.
Under the president's plan, U.S. forces will be out of the country by the time he leaves office in 2017. The only soldiers left will guard the embassy and diplomats. That would be similar to the situation in Iraq, where Mr. Obama withdrew troops in 2011.
On Wednesday, the president spoke to the men and women finishing study programs at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
He told them that, "you are the first class to graduate since 9/11 who may not be sent into combat in Iraq or Afghanistan."
President Obama used the speech to answer critics of his foreign policy. He said the United States is the most "indispensible" nation in the world. But he warned against new military interventions.
Critics have called Mr. Obama's foreign policy unclear and weak. They point to his decision not to follow up on threats to attack Syria when it used chemical weapons. They also have criticized his failure to stop Russia from interfering in Ukraine.
In his speech, Mr. Obama said that, "the most direct threat to America at home and abroad remains terrorism."
"First, let me repeat a principle I put forward at the outset of my presidency: the United States will use military force,unilaterally if necessary, when our core interests demand it."
Mr. Obama called for a new $5 billion plan to help Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Mali fight terrorists. He also said the U.S. would continue drone strikes against terrorists and support for Syrian opposition groups.
One of Mr. Obama's critics is Arizona Senator John McCain. Mr. McCain says the United States should be arming Syrian rebels.
He also is critical of Mr. Obama's plan for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. The senator spoke on Phoenix radio station KFYI, The Barry Young Show.
"We're now seeing a replay of Iraq in Afghanistan, and one can only question whether this whole basis was that he [Obama] would be able to say at the end of his term that the troops are out of both countries....But the first thing the United States of America needs to regain is its credibility."
It is in Congress where Mr. Obama faces much of the criticism over his foreign policy. Michael O'Hanlon is with the Brookings Institution. He says the president's decision to avoid military action in Syria and Ukraine is probably what most Americans wanted. Studies have shown that Americans are tired of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and do not support more military adventures.
"...you add up the whole picture, it starts to look a little weak. And then you are open to the charge that foreign leaders have figured out that you do not want to do much and they're exploiting the window of opportunity, which is, of course, the charge being made about why (Russian President Vladimir) Putin got so aggressive on the Crimea."
And that's In The News, from VOA Learning English. I'm Steve Ember.
1.criticize vt.& vi.批评；挑剔
You were quite right to criticize him.
Don't interfere in what doesn't concern you.
3.outset n. 开始，开端
Almost from the outset,the extravaganza was beset with difficulties.
4.replay n. 重播，重放
It was an action replay of the problems of his first marriage.
BBC backing for the scheme will enhance its credibility.
1.But he warned against new military interventions.
I must warn you against greasy food for a while.
2.First, let me repeat a principle I put forward at the outset of my presidency.
She put forward some cogent reasons for abandoning the plan.
3.it starts to look a little weak. And then you are open to the charge that foreign leaders have figured out that you do not want to do much and they're exploiting the window of opportunity.
I simply couldn't figure out his intention.
本周，奥巴马总统宣布了“负责任地结束”美国持续时间最长的战争的计划。他说，今年美国将结束在阿富汗的作战行动，由阿富汗军队控制国家的安全形势 。奥巴马表示，2014年后，将有9,800美国军队继续驻守阿富汗 。但是他说，如果阿富汗领导人不签署联合安全协议，美国军队将全部撤退 。
根据总统的计划，美国军队将在2017年他离任时撤出阿富汗。留守的少量部队只保护大使馆和外交官 。这与伊拉克的情况类似，奥巴马于2011年从伊拉克撤出部队 。
奥巴马总统利用这次讲话回应了对他的外交政策的批评。他说，美国是世界上最“必不可少的”国家 。但是他警告不要采取新的军事干预措施 。
批评家称奥巴马的外交政策含糊而软弱。他们指的是奥巴马作出的当叙利亚使用化学武器时不要威胁袭击他们的决定 。他们还批评奥巴马未能制止俄罗斯干预乌克兰问题 。
奥巴马面临的其中一个批评者就是亚利桑那州参议员约翰·麦凯恩。麦凯恩表示，美国将为叙利亚叛军提供武装 。他还批评了奥巴马从阿富汗撤军的计划 。这位参议员在菲尼克斯广播台KFYI的巴里杨脱口秀节目中发表讲话 。
奥巴马的外交政策面临的批评大部分在国会。Michael O'Hanlon是布鲁金斯学会工作人员 。他表示，奥巴马总统避免对叙利亚和乌克兰采取军事行动的决定可能是大部分美国人想要的 。研究显示，美国人厌倦了伊拉克和阿富汗战争，不支持更多军事行动 。
“纵观全局，你会发现美国开始看上去有点软弱。然后你会被指责，正如外国领导人所认为的，你不想要做太多 。他们正在利用这个机会之窗，指责为何俄罗斯总统普京在克里米亚如此咄咄逼人 。”
以上就是今天的时事新闻，来自美国之音慢速学英语节目。我是Steve Ember 。