President Donald Trump reaffirmed his commitment to keeping the homeland safe and pledged his administration’s “100 percent” support in rebuilding the U.S. military during an address Monday at the headquarters of United States Central Command (CENTCOM) in Tampa, Florida.
During his address at MacDill Air Force Base, the president told the assembled servicemen he decided to make this visit so early on in his two-week-old administration because of the high value he places on their lives and service. Thanking them for their work in combating the threat of radical Islamic terrorism both at home and abroad, Trump promised to boost the country’s support for the troops after eight years of neglect from the Obama administration.
“So today we deliver a message in one very unified voice to these forces of death and destruction: America and its allies will defeat you.”
“As your president, I have no higher duty than to protect the American people — the highest duty I have,” Trump said. “I want every military family in this country to know that our administration is at your service. We stand with you 100 percent. We will protect those who protect us and we will never, ever let you down.”
Lamenting the state of CENTCOM’s “depleted” equipment and support, the president said it was entirely unacceptable for the troops’ resources to dwindle to a point “almost as low as World War I.”
“It’s not going to happen anymore, folks. It’s not going to happen anymore. Not with me,” Trump promised. “And we’re gonna be loading [MacDill] up with beautiful new planes and beautiful new equipment. You’ve been lacking a little equipment. We’re gonna load it up. You’re going to get a lot of equipment.”
Saying that his administration will “always honor our sacred bond” with the U.S. Military forces, the president told CENTCOM to expect a “historic financial investment” that will show the world “that America stands with those who stand in defense of freedom.”
“We will never, ever forget you. We will ensure that the men and women of our military have the tools, equipment, resources, training, and supplies you need to get the job done,” Trump reaffirmed. “The proof that our nation has been blessed by God — look no further than the men and women of the United States military. They are the greatest fighters and the greatest force of justice on the face of the earth and that the world has ever known.”
The president restated campaign promises to require U.S. allies to “pay their fair share” in the global efforts to combat terrorism and other threats, as well as using to spend U.S. taxpayers’ dollars “wisely.” Thanking CENTCOM for being “at the very center of our fight against radical Islamic terrorism,” Trump said that “America stands in awe of your courage.” And this courage, Trump said, is needed now more than ever.
“We are up against an enemy that celebrates death and totally worships destruction. You’ve seen that,” Trump said. “ISIS is on a campaign of genocide, committing atrocities across the world. Radical Islamic terrorists are determined to strike our homeland as they did on 9/11, as they did from Boston to Orlando to San Bernardino and all across Europe.”
“So today we deliver a message in one very unified voice to these forces of death and destruction: America and its allies will defeat you,” Trump continued. “We will defeat radical Islamic terrorism and we will not allow it to take root in our country.”
In an indirect effort to defend his travel ban temporarily halting the country’s refugee program and banning entry to immigrants from seven terrorism-compromised countries, Trump said that swift action was needed to boost national security and protect the homeland effectively.
“We need strong programs so that people that love us and want to love our country and will end up loving our country are allowed in — not people who want to destroy us and destroy our country,” Trump said.
“The men and women of the United States military provide the strength to bring peace to our troubled, troubled times,” Trump concluded. “We stand behind you. We support your mission. We love our country. We are loyal to our people. We respect our flag. We celebrate our traditions. We honor our heroes. You are our heroes. And we are prepared to fight and we pray for peace.”