President Barack Obama visits Lincoln Hall to praise 16th Commander-in-Chief and National Defense University
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27 Mar 2009

President Obama and LtGen Richardson Unveil Portrait of President Lincoln

President Barack Obama came to the National Defense University Thursday to pay tribute to Abraham Lincoln, for whom the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies’ new home is named, and to honor the military education and training activities of all of the NDU’s component institutions and centers.

“In the 21st century, the US armed forces must deal with unconventional threats and with civilian populations of different cultures and languages,” the 44th president noted. “That’s the education that takes place within the walls of this university,” he declared.

Speaking at the dedication of Abraham Lincoln Hall, the newest addition to the campus on Fort Leslie J. McNair, the commander-in-chief said that the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks “signaled the new dangers of the 21st century.” He also said “we’re still at war with terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan who are plotting to do us harm.”

President Obama noted that there are many monuments to the 16th president across the country. Nonetheless, he added, quoting his hero Lincoln, it was “altogether fitting and proper” to name the hall–which opened last December–after a president whose time in office was dominated by the Civil War.

Despite the host of threats face the United States in a rapidly changing world, President Obama added, “this nation will maintain our military dominance.” The President proclaimed that both the US military and the civilian national security apparatus “must look to develop new approaches and new capabilities” in order to defeat increasingly “nimble enemies.”

And while technology has changed warfare, it is still individual soldiers who make the difference, President Obama said. He thanked the members of the armed forces as well as civilians studying at NDU, and the troops serving in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other parts of the world.