President Trump puts fight against ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ at heart of inauguration speech
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'The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action'

President Trump puts fight against ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ at heart of inauguration speech

In uncompromising address, new president promises to ‘reinforce old alliances,’ quotes Bible on ‘how good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity’

President Donald Trump delivers his inaugural address on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC (Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP)
President Donald Trump delivers his inaugural address on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC (Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP)

WASHINGTON — In a forceful, uncompromising inauguration address, US President Donald Trump placed the battle against Islamic extremism at the heart of his foreign policy as he took office on Friday, vowing to work with allies to destroy the jihadist threat.

“We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones, and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth,” he declared, referring to the Islamist terror threat in language that his predecessor always preferred not to use.

That focus conformed strongly with the mindset of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who tweeted his congratulations “to my friend President Trump” even before the 45th president had been sworn in.

Trump’s predecessors George W. Bush — who invaded Afghanistan and ousted the Taliban regime — and Barack Obama — who ordered the raid that killed Osama bin Laden — also fought extremism. But Trump has gone further than both in his use of language, suggesting that he sees the fight as a civilizational battle between America and a threat springing from the Islamic faith itself.

And, in an inaugural address otherwise thin on policy specifics, his vow to form new alliances against terror suggests that he intends to work with Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

President-elect Donald Trump pumps his fist as he arrives for the 58th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President-elect Donald Trump pumps his fist as he arrives for the 58th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Moscow has deployed forces to Syria to protect Bashar al-Assad’s regime from Islamist rebels, but Obama’s administration has argued their brutal tactics alienate moderates and only boost support for the extremist Islamic State group.

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