Donald Trump’s Position on the Use of US Military Power

President-elect Donald Trump, Dec. 6, 2016And finally, a commitment to only engage the use of military forces when it’s in the vital national security interest of the United States. We don’t want to have a depleted military because we’re all over the place fighting in areas that just we shouldn’t be fighting in.

We’re going to have such a strong powerful military. It’s not going to be depleted any longer….

From now, on it’s going to be America first, America first.

We will stop racing to topple foreign — and you understand this, foreign regimes that we know nothing about, that we shouldn’t be involved with. Instead our focus must be on defeating terrorism and destroying ISIS.

And we will. Any nation that shares these goals will be our partner in this mission. We won’t forget it. We want to strengthen all friendships and seek out new friendships rather than a rigid dogma. We are guided by the lessons of history and a desire to promote stability, stability all over and strength in our land. This destructive cycle of intervention and chaos must finally, folks, come to an end, come to an end.

We have spent, at last count, $6 trillion in the Middle East, and our roads have potholes all over. Our highways are falling apart. Our bridges are falling. Our tunnels are no good. Our airports are horrible like third world countries. We got to start spending on ourselves, but we’ve got to be so strong militarily like we’ve never ever been before, remember that, like we’ve never been before.

We seek harmony and goodwill among the nations of the world, and we believe that respect from mutual sovereignty helps form the basis of trust and understanding, but we don’t want people taking advantage of us anymore. We don’t want countries taking advantage of us anymore. We don’t want that. We don’t want that.

We want to be the smart people. We don’t want to be what we’ve been over the last long period of time.

We build up our military not as an act of aggression, but as an act of prevention. We pursue and build up arms not in order to seek conflict, but in order to avoid conflicts. We want to be strong. In short, we seek peace through strength.

That is why in my first budget report to Congress, I am going to ask for the elimination of the defense sequester, so no.

Depletion, I call the depletion. It gets worse and worse every year not for our military. We will show the world that America is going to be strong again, stronger than ever before. We’re going to be stronger militarily than ever before and, hopefully, we don’t have to use our military, but we’re going to be stronger than ever before. And there’s rarely been a time when we’ve needed the strength more than we have right now.

Excerpt from speech by president-elect Donald Trump, Fayetteville, North Carolina, December 6, 2016.

Image: President-elect Donald Trump, Dec. 6, 2016 (photo: C-SPAN)