President Obama's speech at West Point on Tuesday night, in which he announced the addition of U.S. 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, was more about broad objectives than mission specifics.
And in that respect, the White House is already under heat from some of its progressive critics for continuing -- at the very least -- a rhetorical approach out of the playbook of predecessor George W. Bush.
A look at the text of the president's speech, as provided by the White House, however, suggests far less neoconservative idealism and thinly-veiled religiosity than what George W. Bush brought to the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. In its place, words were chosen that emphasized foreign policy pragmatism and acknowledgments of shades of gray in times of war.
On Tuesday night, the President said the words:
Democracy: 2 (once to talk about the U.S. Capitol building the other to describe Pakistan)
Freedom: 3 times
Terrorism: 0 times (though three mentions of "terrorist")
Extremism: 4 times
By contrast, the President uttered the words:
Security: 28 times
Allies: 11 times (one mention of alliance)
Responsibility: 7 times
Resources: 6 times
Diplomacy: 3 times
Clear: 16 times
Goal: 6 times.