Overall, not surprisingly, it was one of those we-must-spend-more-money-on-stuff speeches. It was good in terms of exceeding expectations, demonstrating leadership qualities on Trump’s part, and signaling to voters. I would say Trump gets an ‘A’ in this regard even though the content, like his 2017 speech, was full of too many bromides.
No one has the temerity to just want to pull out of Afghanistan for good, rather than just keep throwing money at that incinerator.
Terrorists who do things like place bombs in civilian hospitals are evil. When possible, we annihilate them. When necessary, we must be able to detain and question them. But we must be clear: Terrorists are not merely criminals. They are unlawful enemy combatants. And when captured overseas, they should be treated like the terrorists they are.
In the past, we have foolishly released hundreds of dangerous terrorists, only to meet them again on the battlefield — including the ISIS leader, al-Baghdadi.
So today, I am keeping another promise. I just signed an order directing Secretary Mattis to reexamine our military detention policy and to keep open the detention facilities atGuantánamo Bay.
I am also asking the Congress to ensure that, in the fight against ISIS and al-Qa’ida, we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists — wherever we chase them down.
Our warriors in Afghanistan also have new rules of engagement. Along with their heroic Afghan partners, our military is no longer undermined by artificial timelines, and we no longer tell our enemies our plans.
This sounds like something that could have been said 5, 10, 15 years ago, almost strait from George W. Bush’s mouth. It just goes to show how no progress has been made, not because anyone lacks wherewithal to make it happen, but because large segments of the economy and political interests depend on it not. To win reelection, politicians must signal being ‘strong on terror’ but if terrorism is defeated, then no more political capital can be drawn from that well. Regarding Guantánamo, just shoot them all and be done with it. Intelligence info be damned. If they had anything to divulge, they would have done so already.