President Barack Obama touched down in Colorado to give his final commencement speech to U.S. Air Force Academy graduates as commander in chief. The graduates are coming of age at a time of fresh global threats that seem to be pulling the United States back into conflicts with uncertain ends.
When he came into office in 2009, Obama pledged to end two wars and to keep America's fighting forces out of unnecessary entanglements. In one of his first addresses to graduates, just months on the job, he told the U.S. Naval Academy that he promised to deploy the country's diplomatic, economic and moral influence so that the military alone wouldn't bear the burden of keeping Americans safe.
"It's a promise that as long as I am your commander in chief, I will only send you into harm's way when it is absolutely necessary, and with the strategy and the well-defined goals, the equipment and the support that you need to get the job done," Obama said in Annapolis, Maryland.