President Donald Trump continued his non-interventionist rhetoric from the campaign trail in an interview that aired Thursday on the Christian Broadcasting Network.
“We have to rebuild our country. Our roads, our bridges, our tunnels, our schools,” Trump told Pat Robertson. “We will have in another few months, have spent $7 trillion in the Middle East. Seven Trillion.”
This number President Trump is using falls in line with the high end of expenditure studies. A Brown University study said: “By 2053, interest costs will be at least $7.9 trillion unless the U.S. changes the way it pays for the wars.”
Trump went on to say: “And then if you want to spend two dollars on building a school in Iowa, or in Pennsylvania, or in Florida, they don’t want to give you the money.”
“How ridiculous is this?,” Trump added. He said that the U.S. got “nothing” from all of its engagement in the Middle East. The U.S. has toppled the governments of Afghanistan, Libya, and Iraq in the past 16 years.
The Taliban is now resurgent in Afghanistan, Iraq is fending off ISIS, and Libya has become a haven for radical Islamic terrorists.
“The Middle East is a mess,” Trump said. He added that he is there for only “one reason,” and that is to “get rid of the terrorists.” This implies that Trump is not going to engage in the nation building of past administrations.
“We’re almost there. We have really made headway,” Trump commented about this fight against terror. Mosul, the large Iraqi city where the Islamic State declared its caliphate, was liberated from ISIS control on Monday.