Last month, Donald Trump’s ban of passport holders and refugees from predominantly-Muslim countries caused quite the ruckus. Though intended as a safeguard for the US, it invited plenty of outrage for being xenophobic or Islamophobic. A messy execution of the plan finally doomed the directive.
However, a closer look at the actions of the Trump administration reveals that it’s quite serious in its fight against jihadists and extremist Islam. The first travel ban was an just indicator of intentions. The new government has taken plenty of new steps in the name of homeland security.
War On Terror
The war on terror remains real, and the promises made by Trump during his campaign remain actionable. As shared by The National Review, American forces launched 40 strikes last week against Al-Qaeda forces in Yemen. That’s nearly as many as the Obama administration launched in one year.
A change was also recently implemented regarding rules of engagement governing American troops in ally country Iraq. This allowed Iraqi forces to take control of a key area – a bridge in Mosul – which gives them a foothold to hit deeper ISIS-controlled regions.
The Pentagon also seems set on involving the military more in the recapture of Raqqa. That’s ISIS’ temporary stronghold in Syria. The plan is set on including the activity of more special forces, artillery, and attack helicopters.
During the length of Trump’s campaign, he lobbied heavily on the side of swiftly stamping out ISIS. By way of policy change, he has suggested that the Obama administration’s approach to the war on terror was either too soft, or too slow. The recent changes aren’t just consistent with Trump’s campaign rhetoric about strengthening the military; they’re likely to continue for the duration of his four-year term.
The necessity to shut down the borders remains an unpopular opinion. However, but the security that can be realized is hard to deny. The new version of the travel ban – which excludes American ally Iraq, now – will likely reveal more instances of this as time goes on.
For example, according to CBS News, over 300 refugees are already being investigated for potential terrorist links. The FBI is handling the counterterrorism investigations. They did not, however, publicly state which countries the refugees are from.
The actions keep homeland protected not only against threats at an organizational level, but at an individual level as well. ISIS propaganda encourages acts of terrorism by self-radicalized individuals, even without direct contact to ISIS as a whole. A meritocratic system of accepting refugees into the country protects against that danger too.
Whether we like it or not, these policies are what’s protecting American soil right now. And Donald Trump intends to keep it that way.