President Donald Trump re-affirmed his commitment to keeping U.S. troops out of harm’s way and stopping the endless wars in the Middle East and throughout the world while giving a graduation speech at West Point on Saturday.
“It is not the duty of the U.S. military to solve ancient conflicts in far away lands, that many people have never heard of,” Trump said to the crowd of approximately 1,000 cadets, who came to campus after being forced to shelter-in-place at home for months. “When we fight, from now on, we will only fight to win.”
“I want to take this opportunity to thank all members of America’s armed forces ― in every branch, active duty National Guard and reserve ― who stepped forward to help battle the invisible enemy, the new virus, that came to our shores from a distant land called China,” he added.
Despite the extreme polarization and waves of senseless violence sweeping across the country, Trump remains optimistic that better days are ahead for America.
“What has historically made America unique is the durability of its institutions against the passions and prejudices of the moment,” he said. “When times are turbulent, when the road is rough, what matters most is that which is permanent, timeless, enduring and eternal.”
President Trump has called out the military-industrial complex in the past and noted how he is attempting to push back against these forces who want U.S. troops to be used as world police:
“President Donald Trump sat down for an interview on Fox News with Steve Hilton of “The Next Revolution” where the host attempted to goad the President into supporting aggressive wars, but the hawkish host heard a different tune than he was expecting.
Hilton referenced an alleged conversation between Trump and neoconservative Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) where the two men apparently agreed on foreign military invasions but disagreed on exactly where to invade.
“Where does he want to invade, but more importantly, where do you invade?” Hilton asked the President.
Trump disagreed with the characterization that he wanted to invade any country militarily, and expressed his desire for America to triumph over other countries in trade rather than through armed conflict.
“I want to invade, if I have to, economically,” Trump said. “We have created a much stronger country economically than when I took it over… I was in Louisiana opening up a $10 billion dollar LNG plant that would have never been approved under another type of administration,” Trump said.
“We have tremendous power economically. If I can solve things economically, that’s the way I want to do it,” Trump added.
Trump doubled-down from there, explaining that despite his push for a stronger military that takes care of the troops, he wants to avoid any wars caused by the “military-industrial complex” that President Dwight D. Eisenhower once warned about before leaving office.
“Well, I’m the one that talks about these wars that are 19 years and people are just there, and don’t kid yourself, we do have a military-industrial complex. They do like war!” Trump exclaimed.”
Trump has not always lived up to his non-interventionist promise, but he remains intent on bringing the troops home despite the massive institutional barriers standing in his way.