WASHINGTON, DC — From a podium in the Ronald Reagan Building, President Donald Trump announced the United States’ new National Security Strategy on Monday, highlighting the past eleven months under the new administration and the importance of his four pillars for a strong national security strategy.
Vice President Mike Pence welcomed those gathered and proclaimed the accomplishments of the Trump Administration before introducing President Donald Trump.
Trump thanked Pence, members of the cabinet, members of the military, Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford and the rest of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, civilians, law enforcement, and others gathered for the announcement.
America’s security, prosperity, and standing in the world are priorities of this strategy. Trump said he would cover where we have been, where we are now, and a strategy for where we are going in the years ahead.
President Trump referenced his trips abroad, from the Middle East to Warsaw, Poland, the General Assembly of the United Nations, and “the seat of democracy on the Korean Peninsula.” He called it his “highest privilege and greatest honor to represent the American people” in these places.
Trump spoke of leaders before himself who have engaged in nation building abroad while undercutting men and women serving America abroad with insufficient funding. He said those leaders have ignored the menacing dictator in North Korea.
He spoke of past punishing regulations, crippling taxes, issues surrendered to bureaucrats, and border security neglected. Trump blamed leaders in Washington for having imposed on the country a border and immigration policy “where the wrong people are allowed into our country and the right people are rejected.” He added that “American citizens, as usual, have been left to bear the cost and to pick up the tab.”
Trump said that leaders have “drifted from American principles. They lost sight of America’s destiny. And they lost their belief in American greatness. As a result, our citizens lost something as well. The people lost confidence in their government and, eventually, even lost confidence in their future.”
“On January 20, 2017, I stood on the steps of the capitol to herald the day the people became the rulers of their nation again,” said Trump, to applause from the crowd. Less than a year later, he noted, “America is coming back and it’s coming back strong.”
“We are now putting America first,” said the President, who assured that his officials are working swiftly to deal with the challenges the nation faces.
Trump praised decisions to withdraw the United States from “job-killing deals” such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Paris Climate Accord. The U.S. will no longer tolerate trading abuse and, in October, Trump refused to re-certify the Iran nuclear deal. He spoke of taking land away from the Islamic State, a comment met with applause. He spoke of the cost of defending other nations.
“Our campaign of maximum pressure on the North Korean regime has resulted in the toughest sanctions,” said Trump, who admitted that there is “much more work to do” to make sure that the Korean Peninsula is denuclearized. The crowd responded with applause.
Trump highlighted the two million jobs created since his election and the 85 stock market all-time highs during that same time. He spoke of cutting regulations and predicted passage of the tax cut plan in Congress.
“Optimism has surged, confidence has returned,” said Trump. He said clear thinking has come as a result, and the administration is “reasserting these fundamental truths:”
A nation without borders is not a nation. [Applause]; A nation that does not protect prosperity at home cannot protect its interests abroad. A nation that is not prepared to win a war is a nation not capable of preventing a war; A nation that is not proud of its history cannot be confident in its future; And a nation that is not certain of its values cannot summon the will to defend them.
Trump said that this new National Security Policy has been in development for over a year and has the endorsement of his entire cabinet.
He discussed facing the threat of rogue regimes, terrorist organizations, transnational criminal organizations, and rival powers Russia and China. He said the Administration will “attempt to build a great partnership with those and other countries, but in a manner that always protects our national interest.”
Trump revealed that, in a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin the day prior, Putin thanked President Trump for U.S. CIA intelligence that aided in thwarting “a major terrorist attack planned in St. Petersburg, where many people, perhaps in the thousands, could have been killed. They were able to apprehend these terrorists before the event, with no loss of life.”
“We know that American success is not a foregone conclusion. It must be earned and it must be won,” he noted, adding that success involves using all parts of national strength and power.
He said there is $6 trillion more in the stock market since the 2016 election. “With the strategy I am announcing today, we are declaring that America is in the game and America is going to win,” Trump said to applause.
Trump discussed the four pillars of his National Security Strategy: Protect the homeland, the American people, and the American way of life; Promote American prosperity; Preserve peace through strength; and Advance American influence.
He declared that, for the first time ever, American strategy will include “a serious plan to defend our homeland.” He clarified that this strategy calls for contraction of a wall, end of chain migration and visa lottery programs, closing loopholes that undermine immigration enforcement, and supporting Border Patrol Agents, ICE Officers and Homeland Security personnel.
“Our strategy calls for us to confront, discredit, and defeat radical Islamic terrorism and ideology and to prevent it from spreading into the United States,” he added, assuring that they will find new ways to counter those who threaten the American society.
“Economic security is national security,” the President concluded. He noted that this marked the first time this has been included. He spoke of protection on fronts of trade and against intellectual property theft, enhancing infrastructure and energy dominance.
He then moved to the third pillar of the plan, securing “peace through strength,” a statement met with applause.
The President spoke of eliminating the “damaging defense sequester … we’re going to get rid of that.” He spoke of plans to deal with modern threats including cyber and electromagnetic threats.
He emphasized the importance of not only military strength but also the economic strength included in the fourth pillar of the new strategy.
“America will lead again. We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but we will champion the values without apology,” said Trump.
“We will make new partnerships with those who share our goals, and make common interests into a common cause,” said Trump. He spoke of a vision for strong independent nations who respect their neighbors.
He closed with a vision for the future of America and the world:
We will pursue the vision we have carried around the world over this past year – a vision of strong, sovereign, and independent nations that respect their citizens and respect their neighbors; nations that thrive in commerce and cooperation, rooted in their histories and branching out toward their destinies.
The President called for “a great reawakening of America, a resurgence of confidence, and a rebirth of patriotism, prosperity, and pride.”
“We are returning to the wisdom of our founders,” said Trump. “In America, the people govern, the people rule, and the people are sovereign. What we have built here in America is precious and unique.”
He called for Americans to love and defend this nation “with vigilance and spirit, and, if necessary, like so many before us, with our very lives.”
Trump looked toward renewal of American will and future and restoration of dreams.
“Every American has a role to play in this grand national effort,” declared Trump, who invited “every citizen to take their part in our vital mission. Together, our task is to strengthen our families, to build up our communities, to serve our citizens, and to celebrate American greatness as a shining example to the world.”
He reaffirmed a need for being proud of “who we are, how we got here, and what we are fighting to preserve” to succeed.
If we do all of this, if we rediscover our resolve and commit ourselves to compete and win again, then together we will leave our children and our grandchildren a nation that is stronger, better, freer, prouder, and, yes, an America that is greater than ever before.
His final words were met with a standing ovation from the room.
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