Why didn’t he tell them this when he took office? Because he didn’t want them turning on him. Not to worry, though. Trump has some very powerful, well respected people in his corner. Nice try, Obama, but you’re going to have to come up with something else.
In a speech at MacDill Air Force Base, in Tampa, Florida on Tuesday, President Obama focused on his eight-year effort to protect the homeland, fight terrorism, and strengthen U.S. allies. He said he wanted to “talk about the foundation that we will leave for the next administration.”
At one point, Obama reminded the troops “that each of us has…the universal right to speak your minds and to protest against authority; to live in a society that’s open and free; that can criticize our president without retribution.”
He also told the troops that the nation depends on them “to carry forward what is best in us, that commitment to a common creed, the confidence that right makes might, not the other way around.”
Obama told the troops that just as he inherited the war on terror, “violent extremism” will be around for many years.
“So rather than offer false promises that we can eliminate terrorism by dropping more bombs or deploying more and more troops or fencing ourselves off from the rest of the world, we have to take a long view of the terrorist threat. And we have to pursue a smart strategy that can be sustained. In the time remaining, let me just suggest what I think should guide this approach.”
Obama made seven points:
— While terrorists can kill innocent people, they are not an existential threat to the nation;
— Put as few U.S. troops as possible in harm’s way overseas;
— Uphold American values and adhere to the rule of law while fighting terrorism;
— Fight terrorists in a way that does not alienate local populations and create more terrorists;
— Be transparent and accountable to allow for “a more informed public debate” and provide “a potential check on unfettered executive power.”
— Use diplomacy;
— Uphold the civil liberties that define us.