Tuesday, February 28, 2017 8:41 am
President Donald Trump has criticised the U.S. spending in the Middle East, saying the country’s sojourn in the crisis-hit region gulped six trillion dollars but failed to achieve its purpose.
Trump, in his remarks at the meeting with the National Governors Association, said the Middle East was now worse than it was 17 years ago before the country’s involvement.
“I saw a chart the other day – as of about a month ago, six trillion dollars we’ve spent in the Middle East – six trillion dollars. And I want to tell you, that’s just unacceptable.
“And we’re nowhere. Actually, if you think about it, we’re less than nowhere. The Middle East is far worse than it was 16, 17 years ago. There’s not even a contest.
“So, we’ve spent six trillion dollars. We have a hornet’s nest. It’s a mess like you’ve never seen before. We’re nowhere. So, we’re going to straighten it out,” he said.
The president also said the U.S. military had been depleted and require urgent retooling with heavy military spending.
“We must ensure that our courageous servicemen and women have the tools they need to deter war, and when called upon to fight in our name only do one thing: Win. We have to win. We have to start winning wars again.
“I have to say, when I was young, in high school and college, everybody used to say ‘we haven’t lost a war’ – we never lost a war – you remember.
“Some of you were right there with me, and you remember we never lost a war. America never lost.
“And now we never win a war. We never win. And we don’t fight to win. We don’t fight to win.
“So, we either got to win, or don’t fight it at all. But where we are – 17 years – almost 17 years of fighting in the Middle East.”
He said the defence spending increase would be offset and paid for by finding greater savings and efficiencies across the Federal Government, adding, “we’re going to do more with less”.
“I got involved in an airplane contract, I got involved in some other contracts, and we cut the hell out of the prices. I mean, we saved a lot of money, tremendous amount of money, beyond anything that the generals that were involved – they said they’d never seen anything like this before.
“On one plane, on a small order of one plane, I saved 725 million dollars. And I would say I devoted about, if I added it up, all those calls, probably about an hour.
“So, I think that might be my highest and best use because if we can do that, our budget will be – might be my highest and best,” he said.
As he delivers his maiden State of the Union address to the joint session of the Congress on Tuesday, Trump promised to “announce something big”.
The president said he was considering a one-trillion-dollar infrastructure fund and would be expecting congress to approve the bill.(NAN)