WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama said Tuesday his budget would increase the number of people serving in the military, raise their pay and expand veterans benefits.
"To relieve the strain on our forces, my budget increases the number of our soldiers and Marines," Obama said during a joint session of Congress. "And to keep our sacred trust with those who serve, we will raise their pay, and give our veterans the expanded healthcare and benefits that they have earned."
He also vowed to not allow terrorists to "plot against the American people from safe havens half a world away."
Obama said his administration is reviewing policies in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he would soon announce a strategy that "leaves Iraq to its people and responsibly ends this war."
The United States also must uphold the values its troops defend, Obama said, which is why he ordered the prison facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, closed and "swift and certain justice" for terrorists.
"(Living) our values doesn't make us weaker, it makes us safer and it makes us stronger," Obama said. "And that is why I can stand here tonight and say without exception or equivocation that the United States of America does not torture."
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