On Tuesday, president Barack Obama held his final major speech on national security at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. He talked about the effort to fight terrorism both in the United States and overseas. In six weeks, he will leave the office and hand the keys to president-elect Donald Trump.
The final major speech
Barack Obama warned everyone that terrorism only seeks to destroy democracy and to make people change their beliefs. According to him, they will not succeed in doing so if people are going to keep being themselves and believing in what the nation actually means. He said that for eight years, his administration fought against terrorism and protected the nation from its threat. Obama also declared that
No foreign terrorist organization has successfully planned and executed an attack on our homeland.
Still, the president added that terrorist groups tried to attack the U.S., but they did not succeed. The military hanger erupted with applause as he said this.
Obama endured criticism
He also alluded to what Donald Trump has said during his presidential campaign and said that the fact that we respect the law does not make us weak. Tampa homes both the Central Command and Special Operations Command, which helped Obama fight terrorism during his years as president. They helped with the fighting against groups like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
His speech came as an answer to criticism from conservatives. They accused him of giving up on George W. Bush’s policies and of leaving the country unprotected. At the same time, liberals said that Obama only became a carbon copy of president Bush, continuing and expanding his policies. Around 2 500 men and women in uniforms listened to president Obama ‘s final security speech. He also explained that
On January 20th, I will become the first president of the United States to serve two full terms during a time of war.
Advices for Donald Trump
An interesting comparison president Obama made was that he spent $10 billion in the last two years fighting against the Islamic State. President George W. Bush spent the same amount of money in just one month, fighting the war in Iraq. Barack Obama would have held this speech regardless of who was going to be elected president after him.
However, the fact that Donald Trump is the one, made this speech so much more important for everyone. He even warned president-elect Trump and advised him to be careful. Also, to stay away from controversies. It is a known fact that, during his campaign, Trump repeatedly talked about torture as a means of getting information and the problems around NATO. Still, it seems like he has changed his ideas a bit. We do not know if president Obama had a say in this, but it is a good thing that Trump is thinking twice.
However, Senator John McCain of Arizona, his 2008 presidential campaign opponent, criticized Barack Obama ‘s final speech. He deemed it as being nothing else but an attempt of getting away from the “harsh judgment of history”. We will see what the future will bring, but until then, we better listen to those who have done this before. An advice is always a good thing, if we choose to accept it.
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