President vows to defeat ISIS, defend nation from”radical Islamic terrorism,” work with Israel, Muslim allies and NATO. [Read/watch his first Joint Address to Congress.]

jointsession-feb2017

In his first address to a Joint Session of Congress and to the nation since his Inaugural, President Trump focused primary on rebuilding  and reigniting the lackluster American economy and creating millions of new jobs.

But he also devoted important time to his foreign policy and national security goals. Among them:

  • Protect the nation from the threat of “radical Islamic terrorism.”
  • Attack and defeat the forces of the Islamic State, which he described as “a network of lawless savages that have slaughtered Muslims and Christians, and men, and women, and children of all faiths and all beliefs.”
  • Protect America’s borders from illegal infiltrations.
  • Strengthen America’s alliance with the State of Israel.
  • Work closely with “our Muslim friends and alliances” to advance security and peace.
  • Support and work with our NATO allies, while encouraging each NATO ally to pay its full 2% of their GDP as agreed to in the alliance’s charter.
  • Invest heavily in rebuilding the U.S. military.
  • To his credit, the President also opened his speech by denouncing anti-Semitism and other hate crimes, including “recent threats targeting Jewish community centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City.”

The speech was well written, quite well delivered, and stunningly well received.

I was especially encouraged to see the President vow to work closely with Israel, Muslims and NATO to defeat ISIS — he struck a balanced and helpful tone.

As CNN reported:”President Donald Trump’s first address to Congress received largely positive reviews from viewers, with 57% who tuned in saying they had a very positive reaction to the speech, according to a new CNN/ORC poll of speech-watchers.”

In case you missed it, here are key national security excerpts worth reading or watching:

To any in Congress who do not believe we should enforce our laws, I would ask you this one question:  What would you say to the American family that loses their jobs, their income, or their loved one because America refused to uphold its laws and defend its borders?

Our obligation is to serve, protect, and defend the citizens of the United States.  

We are also taking strong measures to protect our nation from radical Islamic terrorism. 

According to data provided by the Department of Justice, the vast majority of individuals convicted of terrorism and terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country.  

We have seen the attacks at home — from Boston to San Bernardino to the Pentagon, and, yes, even the World Trade Center.

We have seen the attacks in France, in Belgium, in Germany, and all over the world.  

It is not compassionate, but reckless to allow uncontrolled entry from places where proper vetting cannot occur. Those given the high honor of admission to the United States should support this country and love its people and its values.  We cannot allow a beachhead of terrorism to form inside America.  We cannot allow our nation to become a sanctuary for extremists.

That is why my administration has been working on improved vetting procedures, and we will shortly take new steps to keep our nation safe and to keep out those out who will do us harm. 

As promised, I directed the Department of Defense to develop a plan to demolish and destroy ISIS — a network of lawless savages that have slaughtered Muslims and Christians, and men, and women, and children of all faiths and all beliefs.  

We will work with our allies, including our friends and allies in the Muslim world, to extinguish this vile enemy from our planet.

I have also imposed new sanctions on entities and individuals who support Iran’s ballistic missile program, and reaffirmed our unbreakable alliance with the State of Israel….

To those allies who wonder what kind of a friend America will be, look no further than the heroes who wear our uniform.  Our foreign policy calls for a direct, robust and meaningful engagement with the world.  It is American leadership based on vital security interests that we share with our allies all across the globe.

We strongly support NATO, an alliance forged through the bonds of two world wars that dethroned fascism, and a Cold War, and defeated communism.  (Applause.)

But our partners must meet their financial obligations.  And now, based on our very strong and frank discussions, they are beginning to do just that.  In fact, I can tell you, the money is pouring in.  Very nice.  (Applause.)  We expect our partners — whether in NATO, the Middle East, or in the Pacific — to take a direct and meaningful role in both strategic and military operations, and pay their fair share of the cost.

Let’s be praying for the President and his national security and foreign policy advisors that they can effective in achieving these goals. Let’s also be praying for the President, the Vice President and their families and staff for wisdom, discernment and strength as they face so many domestic and international challenges.

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