For decades, the United States has had boots on the ground in foreign conflicts that many Americans believe we shouldn’t be involved in. Now, President Donald Trump has promised to put an end to that.
According to Reuters, the president told West Point’s 2020 graduating class Saturday that he is “ending the era of endless wars.”
Ending endless wars
During his commencement speech, Trump told the next generation of military leaders that he is advocating for “a renewed, clear-eyed focus on defending America’s vital interests.”
“It is not the duty of U.S. troops to solve ancient conflicts in faraway lands that many people have never even heard of,” he said, according to a transcript of his remarks provided by the White House. “We are not the policemen of the world.”
Indeed, American soldiers are now based all over the globe. In some locations, they serve as peacekeepers; in others, they are advisers; and still yet others, they are actively fighting enemies of democracy.
When Trump ran for office in 2016, one of his platform issues was such foreign involvement, and he vowed that he would try to bring many of our troops back home from these “endless wars.” Recently, he did just that with regard to troops stationed in Germany, Reuters noted.
Of course, Trump promised that the U.S. military will continue to defend America from foreign threats.
“Let our enemies be on notice: If our people are threatened, we will never, ever hesitate to act,” he said, according to the transcript. “And when we fight, from now on, we will fight only to win. As MacArthur said: ‘In war, there is no substitute for victory.’”
“A crucial moment”
Trump’s speech comes at a time when his relationship with the military seems to be a bit strained. When Trump asked for governors to call up their National Guard troops to quell often-violent protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd, the measure was not received well by some members of the Guard.
Army Gen. Mark Milley, who serves as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has also apologized for appearing next to Trump during his walk through Lafayette Park during the first days of the unrest.
Trump said it did not bother him, but with the election looming, he needs to make sure he wins the support of military families and their supporters. With his West Point commencement speech, it looks like he took a step in the right direction.
“Each of you begins your career in the Army at a crucial moment in American history,” he told the graduates Saturday, according to the White House transcript. “We are restoring the fundamental principles that the job of the American soldier is not to rebuild foreign nations, but defend — and defend strongly — our nation from foreign enemies.”