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A Thankful President To Visit Special Forces

President Barack Obama arrives in Tampa this afternoon to meet with the men and women who have been on the front-lines enforcing his policies in the fight against terrorism. And he plans to deliver his last major counter-terrorism speech.

As Commander in Chief, President Obama really wanted to thank the Special Forces community. That’s what is bringing him to MacDill, home of U.S. Central Command and Special Operations Command, said Ben Rhodes, deputy national security advisor for Strategic Communications, during a conference call Monday.

“He feels a deep personal connection with the special operations community as president,” Rhodes said. “A lot of the individual military operations that he’s order involved this personnel. That’s not just the (Osama) bin Laden raid.”

Rhodes added that when President Obama took office 180,000 troops were in Iraq and Afghanistan and now there’s roughly 15,000.

Mr. Obama will also meet with members of Centcom who are responsible for overseeing the Middle East region and then deliver an overview of his counter-terrorism campaign over the last eight years.

“His experience of looking across this entire campaign from the war efforts to the legal questions, to alliances, to questions about who we are as a country and that's something you can only experience as president,” Rhodes said.

He said President Obama plans to present his argument against the use of torture and for prosecuting terrorists in civilian U.S. Courts keeps the country safer.

Bobbie O’Brien has been a Reporter/Producer at WUSF since 1991. She reports on general news topics in Florida and the Tampa Bay region.
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