Trump's Policy Priorities: Eliminating Islamist Terrorism and Obama's Climate Plan

New policy posts on official White House website says Trump administration will seek to build missile defense system, engage in cyberwarfare against terrorist groups.

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Outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama listens to President Donald Trump deliver his inaugural address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017.
Outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama listens to President Donald Trump deliver his inaugural address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017.Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Barria

The Trump administration will make defeating "radical Islamic terror groups" its top foreign policy goal, according to a statement posted on the White House website moments after Donald Trump's inauguration as U.S. president. 

Trump, a Republican, used his inaugural address on Friday to promise to "unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth." 

In the statement, titled "America First Foreign Policy," the Trump administration said, "Defeating ISIS and other radical Islamic terror groups will be our highest priority." ISIS is an acronym for Islamic State. 

In order to "defeat and destroy" Islamic State and similar groups, the new administration said it "will pursue aggressive joint and coalition military operations when necessary," work to cut off funding for terrorist groups, expand intelligence sharing, and use "cyberwarfare" to disrupt propaganda and recruitment efforts. 

The statement offered no indication of how Trump's policies might differ from those of his predecessor, Democrat Barack Obama. 

The Obama administration also pursued those broadly described strategies: working with European and Middle Eastern allies in a bombing campaign targeting Islamic State leaders and their oil infrastructure, authorizing U.S. special forces operations against the group, and using sanctions and other methods to cut off its financing. 

Trump's speech and the statement echoed his campaign criticism of Obama and his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, for not using the phrase "radical Islamic terror" to describe Islamic State and other hardline jihadist groups. 

Obama argued that using the term would conflate "murderers" with "the billion Muslims that exist around the world, including in this country, who are peaceful." Clinton said using the phrase would play into the hands of militants who want to portray the United States as at war with Islam. 

The White House statement also appeared to nod at better relations with Russia, something that Trump has said he would pursue. "We are always happy when old enemies become friends, and when old friends become allies," the statement said. 

Trump has rejected criticism that he is too eager to make an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

The statement repeated Trump's campaign vow to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Asian free-trade pact that Obama championed but was unable to get through Congress. Trump has said, without elaboration, that international trade deals have hurt American workers. 

"President Trump will ensure that on his watch, trade policies will be implemented by and for the people, and will put America first," the statement said. 

In a separate statement on the White House website, the Trump administration said it intends to develop a "state of the art" missile defense system to protect against attacks from Iran and North Korea. It did not say whether the system would differ from those already under development, specify the cost or say how it would be financed.

Another statement said the administration is committed to eliminating Obama's Climate Action Plan and other environmental initiatives, according to the recently updated White House website. 

"President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule. Lifting these restrictions will greatly help American workers, increasing wages by more than $30 billion over the next 7 years," the website said. 

Obama's climate plan proposed cuts to U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, in part by preserving forests and encouraging increased use of cleaner renewable fuels. 

Trump's efforts to boost the U.S. oil and gas sector will help increase government revenues to "rebuild our roads, schools, bridges and public infrastructure," the website said.

In another statement, the White House said Trump was still committed to building a border wall to stop illegal immigration, adding, "Our country needs more law enforcement, more community engagement, and more effective policing."  

The website also said the administration condemned what it called the "anti-police atmosphere" in America and called for more law enforcement and more effective policing.

"The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong. The Trump administration will end it," said the statement.

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