US President Barack Obama
US President Barack ObamaReuters

US President Barack Obama has stated that the rising middle class in countries like India and Brazil are competing with their counterparts in America, and even their governments of developing countries are seeking a greater say in global forums.

"From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us, and governments seek a greater say in global forums. And even as developing nations embrace democracy and market economies, 24-hour news and social media makes it impossible to ignore the continuation of sectarian conflicts and failing states and popular uprisings that might have received only passing notice a generation ago," the American President said.

Obama was addressing the US Military Academy in West Point, New York. He pointed out that the world is changing rapidly after 9/11. Obama said that the world is changing with accelerating speed, which gives both opportunity and new dangers.

The US President said that Russia's aggression towards former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China's economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors.

Obama, in his speech, touched upon a wide range of foreign policy matters.

The President condemned the dictatorship in Syria and pledged his support for the cause of Syrian people. He said the US will step up its efforts to support Syria's neighbors - Jordan and Lebanon, and Turkey and Iraq - as they contend with refugees and confront terrorists working across Syria's borders.

Obama stated that he will work with the Congress to ramp up support for those in the Syrian opposition, who offer the best alternative to terrorists and brutal dictators.

"And we will continue to coordinate with our friends and allies in Europe and the Arab World to push for a political resolution of this crisis, and to make sure that those countries and not just the United States are contributing their fair share to support the Syrian people," the 52-year-old stressed.

Obama said that it is clear that after 9/11, just how technology and globalization has put power, once reserved for states, in the hands of individuals, raising the capacity of terrorists to do harm.

Dwelling on Boko Haram in Nigeria, Obama said that no American security operation can eradicate the extremist group's threat. Boko Haram had kidnapped over 200 Nigerian schoolgirls. The Islamic terrorist outfit is led by Abubakar Shekau.

The President stressed on the need to support Nigerian efforts, to educate the country's youth about extremist groups.

Obama stated that international opinion matters but America should never ask permission to protect its people, its homeland or its way of life, Obama said, amid applause from the Academy inmates.

Delivering the bottom line, Obama said that America must always lead the world stage.

"If we don't, no one else will. The military that you have joined is and always will be the backbone of that leadership. But U.S. military action cannot be the only - or even primary - component of our leadership in every instance," the President stated.

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