Rabat – On Tuesday during a North Carolina stop in his swing state “thank you” tour, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outlined his plan to strengthen the “depleted” military and scale back U.S. intervention in foreign conflicts. He also promised to make defeating the Islamic State a priority for his administration.
“We will stop racing to topple foreign regimes that we know nothing about, that we shouldn’t be involved with,” Mr Trump reiterated to the crowd. ”Instead, our focus must be on defeating terrorism and destroying ISIS, and we will.”
“We don’t want to have a depleted military because we’re all over the place fighting in areas that we shouldn’t be fighting in. It’s not going to be depleted any longer,” Trump said, echoing past sentiments.
Although Trump vowed to build up the military, he said it would be done “not as an act of aggression, but as an act of prevention.”
It was at this event that Trump formally introduced his pick to lead the Department of Defense, retired Marine Corps General James Mattis. Trump’s decision has been lauded by Republicans who believe the outspoken general has the experience and temperament necessary for the role.
“In order to succeed in our defense policy, we must have the right person to lead in our Defense Department,” Trump declared. “This is why I am proud to formally announce today my intention to nominate General James “Mad Dog” Mattis as the next Secretary of Defense for the United States of America.”
After the introduction, Mattis thanked the audience and Trump for their support.
“Thank you President-elect for the confidence that you’ve shown in me … I look forward to being the civilian leader so long as the Congress gives me the waiver and the Senate votes to content.”
“What a great guy, he’s going to incredible,” Trump said after Mattis finished his remarks. “Oh, if he didn’t get that waiver, there’ll be a lot of angry people.”
In accordance with government regulations, Mattis needs a waiver from Congress to be allowed to serve as head of the defense department because of his recent military service. A 1947 law requires military officers be retired for seven years before heading up the DoD. Mattis has been retired for three.