Matthew Mosk
The Washington Times
August 17, 2009

[efoods]PHOENIX — President Obama urged more than 5,000 veterans gathered here to brace for a daunting and perhaps bloody period ahead in Afghanistan, but told them he believes this war is “fundamental to the defense of our people.”

“As I said when I announced this strategy, there will be more difficult days ahead,” the president said at the annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. “The insurgency in Afghanistan didn’t just happen overnight, and we won’t defeat it overnight. This will not be quick. This will not be easy.”

In a 35-minute speech to a group that harbors, in some cases, deep reservations about the president’s war policy, Mr. Obama took firm ownership of the long-running Afghan initiative. The speech came as Afghanistan prepares for presidential elections on Thursday.

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