The primary task of the military is to effectively exercise force in the pursuit of our national interests. When we need them to do this, I want them to be very, very good at their jobs. So we need to maintain a robust military. It must remain the best fighting force in the world.

That does not mean we need to use our military.

Speak softly and carry a big stick. If needed, we should use that stick quickly, effectively and thoroughly. The same principles apply as at an individual level. Use whatever force is necessary to deal with a situation, then stop.

The US is not the world’s police force. We do not, and should not, intervene in all situations.

We do live in this world, though. To be good neighbors, we should stand ready to resist those who would attack our friends and allies. Assist those peoples threatened by their own nations. Aid any who are in need as a result of disasters. These are the honorable, moral, and civilized things to do.