By Richard Sisk, Military.com
President Donald Trump pledged Friday that as the new commander in chief he will rebuild a “depleted” military and eradicate “radical Islamic terrorism.”
After taking the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts, Trump delivered a 16-minute address from the West Front of the Capitol that revisited the “America first” and “Make America Great” themes of the election campaign.
“For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry; subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military,” he said. “We’ve defended other nation’s borders while refusing to defend our own.
“But that is the past, and now we are looking only to the future,” said Trump, who argued during the campaign for major boosts in defense spending and an end to the cost-cutting sequester process in Congress.
With a strengthened military, “We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones — and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth.”
In the process, “We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement and, most importantly, we are protected by God,” Trump said.
“It is time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget: that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots, we all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American flag,” he said.
Trump took up his duty under the preamble of the Constitution to “provide for the common defense” with the guidance of Defense Secretary-designate James Mattis, a retired Marine general whose last post was as head of U.S. Central Command.
The full Senate was expected to confirm Mattis as defense secretary later Friday, along with retired Marine Gen. John Kelly as secretary of Homeland Security.
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