Friday, January 27, 2017

Trump takes action to rebuild military

Trump takes action to rebuild military, start ‘extreme vetting’ at border

By S.A. Miller - The Washington Times

President Trump signed executive actions Friday to begin rebuilding the U.S. military and to initiate an “extreme vetting” program to root out radical Islamic terrorists attempting to enter the country, both measures making good on top campaign promises.

The president signed the documents in the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes after a swearing-in ceremony for Defense Secretary James N. Mattis.

He said the moves to beef up the military and keep terrorists out of the homeland were aimed at ensuring the sacrifices of military fighting terrorism abroad were supported by the actions of the U.S. government.

“Our military strength will be questioned by no one and neither will our dedication to peace. We want peace,” Mr. Trump said.
In addition to the policy for providing more ships, planes and war-fighting resources, Mr. Trump is expected to direct Mr. Mattis to plan more aggressive strategies against the Islamic State, the terrorist army also known by the acronyms ISIS and ISIL.

Mr. Mattis, a retired four-star Marines Corps general, will have 30 days to present Mr. Trump with options for confronting ISIS.

The text of the directives were not immediately released, but drafts indicated the vetting will halt the flow of refugees into the U.S. and temporarily bar entrance by visitors from several predominately Muslim countries that are terrorist hotbeds.

The ban is expected to include exemptions for religious minorities in those countries that often face discrimination and brutality.

“I’m establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America,” said Mr. Trump. “We don’t want them here.”

The vetting measure immediately came under fire from Democratic lawmakers and civil liberties advocates.

Sen. Bob Casey, Pennsylvania Democrat, said it was “contrary to our values and our security.”

“It will mean turning away children fleeing barrel bombing in Syria, women and girls fleeing human rights violations in Sudan and Somalia, and brave people who risked their lives to work with our troops in Iraq,” he said. “Preventing these vulnerable people from resettling in the U.S. as refugees does nothing to make our nation safer.”

American Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Anthony D. Romero said: “‘Extreme vetting’ is just a euphemism for discriminating against Muslims.”

Although the vetting plan has provoked accusations of bigotry since it was first proposed during the presidential race, Mr. Trump said it was necessary to keep the battle against terrorism from America’s shores.

“We will never forget the lessons of 9/11 or the heroes who lost their lives at the Pentagon. They were the best of us,” said the president. “We will honor them not only with our words but with our actions.”

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