Trump pledges "massive" military investment

Promising a major upgrade of the American military President Trump said, "nobody will dare question our military might again"

Trump pledges "massive" military investment

Picture by Evan Vucci AP/Press Association Images

US President Donald Trump has pledged to begin “one of the greatest military build-ups in American history” and insisted construction of a wall along the southern border with Mexico is “going to start soon.”

President Trump was addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland today.

He used the opportunity to launch another scathing attack on what he called the “fake media” - again describing it as the “enemy of the people” - and defended his opening weeks in power.

He said he will announce new measures “in a matter of days” to tighten border security and “keep America safe.”

Massive military budget

The president said his administration has put in a “massive budget request” to upgrade what he called, “our beloved military.”

“We will be substantially upgrading all of our military [...] offensive, defensive – everything; bigger and better and stronger than ever before – and hopefully we will never have to use it – but nobody is going to mess with us, nobody,” he said.

“Nobody will dare question our military might again. We believe in peace through strength and that is what we will have.”

Mr Trump said he has also directed the American defence community to develop a plan to “totally obliterate ISIS” adding that his administration aims to “eradicate this evil from the face of the Earth.”

Iraqi forces have been making gains against ISIS in Iraq for months and are today advancing into the western neighbourhoods of Mosul - the terrorist organisation’s last major stronghold in the country.

The operation to retake Iraq's second largest city from terrorist control was officially launched last October - and in January its eastern half was declared "fully liberated."

Immigration ban

President Trump linked the fight against ISIS to border security adding that, “we are going to keep radical Islamic terrorist the hell out of our country.”

Foreign terrorists will not be able to strike at America if they cannot get into our country,” he said.

He insisted his administration is going to build the wall along the Mexican border and claimed construction would begin “way, way ahead of schedule.”

He did not make it clear what schedule or planned building work he was referring to.

He said his administration will be taking “brand new action” within a matter of days to “protect our people and keep America safe.”

The Trump administration has hinted a number of times that he will attempt to sign a new executive order to replace his failed ban on immigrants from seven Muslim majority countries entering the US.

Since the 9/11 attacks on New York, no American has been killed in a terrorist attack by a citizen from one of the countries on the list.

Out of the 2001 plane hijackers, 15 were from Saudi Arabia – a country that has long been allied with America and does not appear on the list.

President Trump again based his border policy on “what is happening in Sweden” without detailing what he was referencing.

Gone to the beach

Taking aim at US foreign policy in the Middle East under the leadership of former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Mr Trump told delegates that he has “inherited a mess, believe me.”

“If our presidents would have gone to the beach for the last 15 years we would be in much, much better shape than we are right now,” he said.

“We have spent trillions of dollars overseas while allowing our own infrastructure to fall into total disrepair and decay.

“In the Middle East we have spent – as of four weeks ago - $6tr (€5.66tr) and by the way the way the Middle East [...] is in much worse shape than it was 15 years ago.

“We could have rebuilt our country three times with that money.”

President Trump’s speech took in a range of other subjects including plans to introduce tax reform, repeal Obamacare, get rid of regulations restricting corporations and big business, renegotiate America’s trade deals and toughen the country’s stance on crime.