Difference between revisions of "Donald Trump achievements: Military, national security, and anti-terrorism"

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*Burns, Robert (April 17, 2019). [https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2019/04/18/us-halts-recent-practice-of-disclosing-nuclear-weapon-total/ US halts recent practice of disclosing nuclear weapon total]. ''Military Times'' (from the ''Associated Press''). Retrieved April 18, 2019.
*Burns, Robert (April 17, 2019). [https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2019/04/18/us-halts-recent-practice-of-disclosing-nuclear-weapon-total/ US halts recent practice of disclosing nuclear weapon total]. ''Military Times'' (from the ''Associated Press''). Retrieved April 18, 2019.
*Burns, Robert (April 18, 2019). [https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/04/18/us-halts-recent-practice-disclosing-nuclear-weapon-total.html US Halts Recent Practice of Disclosing Nuclear Weapon Total]. ''Military.com'' (from the ''Associated Press''). Retrieved April 18, 2019.</ref>
*Burns, Robert (April 18, 2019). [https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/04/18/us-halts-recent-practice-disclosing-nuclear-weapon-total.html US Halts Recent Practice of Disclosing Nuclear Weapon Total]. ''Military.com'' (from the ''Associated Press''). Retrieved April 18, 2019.</ref>
*April 30, 2019—The Trump Administration successfully forced the Chinese government-owned company Cosco to sell the Port of Long Beach in California due to national security concerns. The sale was finalized later that year.<ref>Multiple references:
*April 30, 2019—The Trump Administration successfully forced the Chinese government-owned company Cosco to sell the Port of [[Long Beach]] in California due to national security concerns.<ref name="ChinaLongBeachPort"/> The sale was finalized later that year.<ref name="ChinaLongBeachPort">Multiple references:
*Street, Chriss (May 7, 2019). [https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2019/05/trump_administration_forces_china_to_sell_the_port_of_long_beach.html Trump administration forces China to sell the Port of Long Beach]. ''American Thinker''. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
*Street, Chriss (May 7, 2019). [https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2019/05/trump_administration_forces_china_to_sell_the_port_of_long_beach.html Trump administration forces China to sell the Port of Long Beach]. ''American Thinker''. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
*[https://www.judicialwatch.org/corruption-chronicles/trump-rids-major-u-s-container-port-of-chinese-communist-control/ Trump Rids Major U.S. Container Port of Chinese Communist Control]. ''Judicial Watch''. October 8, 2019. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
*[https://www.judicialwatch.org/corruption-chronicles/trump-rids-major-u-s-container-port-of-chinese-communist-control/ Trump Rids Major U.S. Container Port of Chinese Communist Control]. ''Judicial Watch''. October 8, 2019. Retrieved November 19, 2019.

Revision as of 16:10, 19 November 2019

Official presidential photo of President Donald Trump
Main article: Donald Trump achievements

This article is a non-exhaustive list of achievements by U.S. President Donald Trump, his administration, and Congress related to the military, United States national security, and anti-terrorism actions.

For national security actions directly related to U.S. trade policy, see Donald Trump achievements: Trade policy. For national security actions directly related to immigration and border security, see Donald Trump achievements: Immigration and border security.


It was observed relatively early in his presidency that President Trump had developed a strong position on fighting terrorism, making good on his campaign promises.[1] It was reported in June 2017 that public trust in the Trump Administration in protecting the nation from terrorism increased to 70%, up from 55% in 2015.[2] Due to the policies of President Trump and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, the U.S. had made major gains against ISIS in Iraq, Syria,[3] and Afghanistan by the first year of Trump's presidency, and it oversaw the first steps of military expansion.[4] President Trump's strategy on defeating ISIS differed from that of Obama's,[5] and gains against ISIS increased during the Trump Administration.[6] By the end of 2017, ISIS lost 98% of the terrirtory it once held, and most of its losses occurred during the Trump Administration.[7] On December 9, 2017, Iraq declared final victory over ISIS.[8] President Trump's first year in office coincided with a nearly 25% decrease in worldwide terrorist attacks and their deadliness compared to the previous year.[9]

President Trump had several former military generals in his administration and relied on them substantially for advice.[10] The Department of Homeland Security gained influence during Trump's presidency.[11] Secretary Mattis also put his effort into increasing and maintaining military effectiveness and fiscal responsibility.[12] National security was one of the areas that President Trump prioritized when making political appointments, as seen by the fact that by December 2017, he was ahead of the Obama Administration in filling Defense Department positions despite being behind overall.[13]

To the approval of CIA staffers, the Trump Administration ended Barack Obama's micromanaging and his overemphasis on political correctness in U.S. national security policy.[14]

Legislation signed, 2017

  • H.R. 244, which was signed into law by President Trump on May 5, 2017, and funded the government through September 30, 2017, expanded military spending by about $21 billion without an identical increase in domestic spending and fulfilled several of the military's requests.[15]

Executive actions, 2017

The Trump Administration made several achievements related to the U.S. military:

Secretary of Defense James Mattis
The USS Gerald R. Ford[16] in April 2017. The aircraft carrier was commissioned in July 2017.[17]
  • January 27, 2017—President Trump signed a memorandum to begin the expansion and rebuilding of the U.S. military.[18]
  • February 3, 2017—The Trump Administration and Lockheed Martin reached a tentative deal that would purchase 90 F-35 jets at the lowest price in the program's history.[19] The first 90 planes were about $725 million below budget, with billions of more dollars of savings expected, and it saved at least one U.S. ally, Japan, $100 million.[20]
  • June 30, 2017—The Department of Defense announced it would delay an Obama Administration plan to have the military recruit transgender people for six months in order to ensure the military's readiness would not be affected by the change.[21] On July 26, 2017, President Trump announced he would reverse Obama's policy and disallow transgender people from serving in the military,[22] and he formally signed an order banning them from joining the military on August 25, 2017.[23] President Trump signed a final order on March 23, 2018, that banned transgender individuals from military service but with certain exceptions.[24]
  • The Trump Administration gave wider powers to the Department of Defense than it had under Obama.[25] In April 2017, President Trump gave Mattis authority to set troop levels in Iraq and Syria for the fight against ISIS,[26] and it gave military commanders authority to perform military actions without approval from Washington.[27] The U.S. military made large advances against ISIS under their autonomy.[28] In June 2017, the Trump Administration authorized the Defense Department to set troop levels in Afghanistan,[29] and in October 2017, it relaxed the rules of engagement for its troops in the country by ending a requirement for soldiers to be in contact with the enemy before opening fire.[30] The expanded authority given to the military could also be seen in U.S. operations in Somalia.[31]
  • July 21, 2017—Defense Secretary James Mattis ordered a department-wide review of its military training requirements, particularly that which is irrelevant to actual warfighting such as political correctness exercises, in order to make the military more effective and lethal.[32]
  • July 2017—Defense Secretary Mattis took a strong stance on reducing waste in the military when he criticized a program that spent tens of millions of dollars on camouflage uniforms that turned out to be ineffective.[33]
  • President Trump elevated the Department of Defense's Cyber Command to the status of Unified Combatant Command, showing the Trump Administration's increased focus on cyber security.[34]
  • It was reported in October 2017 that the Department of Defense had stopped using resources from the Southern Poverty Law Center, a left-wing organization, for training on extremism.[35]
  • December 7, 2017—The Department of Defense announced it would begin its first-ever agency-wide financial audit.[36] The Pentagon completed and released the audit in November 2018.[37]

The Trump Administration made several achievements related to U.S. national security:

  • March 21, 2017—The DHS instituted an electronics ban on 10 foreign airports for flights into the U.S.[38] Due to this ban, many of the affected airports[39] and airlines[40] improved their screening methods enough to remove them from the list. The laptop ban was lifted from all ten airports by July 20, 2017, when all the airports met the DHS's first phase of new security measures.[41]
  • May 11, 2017—President Trump signed an executive order to review U.S. cyber security and hold the various federal departments accountable for ensuring the protection of valuable information.[42]
  • May 11, 2017—President Trump signed an executive order creating a commission, chaired by Vice President Mike Pence and vice-chaired by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, to review the extent of voter fraud and suppression in the United States.[43] On January 3, 2018, President Trump dissolved the commission due to its work being slowed down by many Democrat lawsuits, and he ordered the DHS to conduct the investigation into voter fraud instead.[44] Despite this, the DHS announced it would not be taking up the investigation.[45]
  • June 28, 2017—The DHS announced new measures to increase security in international airports an to protect flights to the U.S. from terrorist attacks.[46]
  • July 11, 2017—The Trump Administration limited the governmental use of Kaspersky Lab software due to suspicions that the Russian government was using it for cyber espionage.[47] The Trump Administration ordered the full removal of the software from government computers in September 2017.[48] On December 12, 2017, President Trump signed into law a ban on Kaspersky Lab software in the U.S. government.[49]
  • July 21, 2017—President Trump signed an executive order requiring a government-wide review of the U.S. defense industry and supply change in order to improve national security, described as one of the most significant such reviews since Dwight D. Eisenhower's presidency.[50] On October 5, 2018, the Trump Administration released the review's findings and took actions based on those findings.[51]
  • September 13, 2017—The Trump Administration blocked the purchase of a U.S. superconductor maker firm to a Chinese company supported by the nation's government.[52] This was the fourth time in 27 years that a U.S. president had blocked a foreign takeover of an American company.[53]
  • October 13, 2017—The Department of Defense instituted increased security vetting measures for the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) program letting noncitizens serve in the U.S. military in exchange for expedited citizenship.[54]
  • October 16, 2017—The DHS ordered all federal agencies to adopt measures to increase their cybersecurity for their email and websites.[55]
  • October 26, 2017—The Trump Administration instituted tougher security screenings for people flying to the U.S.[56]
  • December 18, 2017—President Trump released his national security strategy,[57] something which he – unlike his predecessors – was able to complete within his first year in office.[58] While the strategy continued to promote several of the globalist ideas of Trump's predecessors – something which pleased "Never Trump" globalists[59] – the NSS also promoted several conservative policies. The Trump Administration applied its "America First" philosophy in the strategy, and it emphasized economic prosperity and border security.[60] It also emphasized trade.[61] The Trump Administration also took a strong stance on immigration, border security, and national sovereignty in the strategy, and these issues were placed prominently in the document.[62][63] In the strategy, the Trump Administration rejected the Obama Administration's emphasis on promoting democracy and human rights, and it reversed the Obama Administration's decision to list climate change as a national security threat,[58][60][63][64] even suggesting that the climate change lobby is a national security threat.[65] Unlike the Obama Administration's NSS, the Trump Administration emphasized Islamic terrorism, called it out by name, and noted their desire to force others to follow Sharia law,[63][66] and it argued against the notion that Israel is to blame for problems in the Middle East.[67] The Trump NSS also took a tough stance on China.[68] The strategy was the first NSS to call for protecting the U.S. electric and power grid from an EMP attack.[69] President Trump criticized previous American leaders in his speech announcing his strategy, stating that "They lost sight of America's destiny, and they lost their belief in American greatness. They surrendered our sovereignty to foreign bureaucrats in far away and distant capitals."[70]
  • December 20, 2017—President Trump signed an executive order directing federal agencies to increase the production of important minerals that the U.S. is dependent on Chinese and Russian imports for, in order to reduce U.S. dependence on the countries.[71]

The Trump Administration made several achievements related to anti-terrorism actions and operations:

MOAB, the "Mother Of All bombs"
  • April 13, 2017—Under the increased autonomy President Trump gave the Defense Department,[72] the U.S. dropped a GBU-43B (also known as MOAB or the "Mother Of All bombs"), the largest non-nuclear bomb in existence at 21,000 pounds on a complex of Islamic State tunnels in Afghanistan. Although tested in 2003, the bomb had never been used in combat before.[73] It caused much damage,[74][75] being estimated to have killed at least 94 ISIS fighters, including four commanders – no civilians were killed.[76] It also destroyed several of the tunnels as well as weapon stockpiles.[77][78] The attack was reported as having dealt a heavy blow to ISIS's Afghanistan branch.[79]
  • Unlike former President Obama, the State Department under President Trump described the Afghanistan Taliban as a terrorist organization without hesitation.[80]
  • May 26, 2017—President Trump made clear his stance against terrorism in a statement wishing Muslims a joyful Ramadan.[81] President Trump did not hold a Ramadan dinner, breaking the annual tradition held since Bill Clinton's presidency, and instead issued a statement greeting Muslims for Eid al-Fitr on June 24, 2017.[82][83] Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also refused to host a Ramadan event at the State Department.[84]
  • June 25, 2017—It was reported that the DHS defunded several Islamic organizations supported by the Obama Administration and that were set to be funded under it.[83]
  • In July 2017, DHS Secretary Kelly was able to get the head of the DHS Office for Community Partnerships to resign, symbolizing the shift in strategy from the Obama Administration in countering Islamic radicalism.[85]
  • The U.S. military conducted airstrikes against Islamic terrorists in Somalia beginning in early November 2017.[86] One of these airstrikes, conducted against al-Shabab on November 21, 2017, killed over 100 militants alone.[87] Another airstrike, also carried out against al-Shabab on December 12, 2017, removed what the U.S. military called "an imminent threat to the people of Mogadishu."[88]
  • In 2017, the U.S. killed Al Qaeda's chief bomb maker in a counterterrorism operation in Yemen, something confirmed by President Trump two years later.[89]

Failures, 2017

Many of these failures and setbacks to the MAGA agenda, if not all of them, were caused by Congress or officials in the Trump Administration, rather than President Trump himself:

  • Although President Trump did not proclaim the month of June, in 2017, as "LGBT Pride month,"[90] the Pentagon continued its annual "LGBT pride celebration."[91] Despite this, the Department of Defense delayed an Obama Administration plan to open up the military to transgender recruits.[21]


Secretary of Defense James Mattis took a more visible role in the Trump Administration in 2018,[92] and he helped advance the Trump agenda on several fronts.[93] According to Mattis, the Defense Department began focusing on countering Russia and China, "strategic competitors" of the U.S., rather than the War on Terror.[94] As an indication of the Trump Administration's successful fight against ISIS,[95] the U.S. deactivated its command in charge of American ground operations against the terrorist organization.[96] According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the Trump Administration also ended the Obama Administration's "downward trend in U.S. military spending."[97] The Trump Administration took numerous actions to protect U.S. election security and national security from Russia,[98] massively increased spending for espionage activities against Russia, China, and North Korea, among other intelligence operations.[99] By 2018, President Trump had made some moves to promote reforming Islam to eradicate its radical elements.[100] The Trump Administration worked to develop new low-yield nuclear weapons.[101]

Legislation signed, 2018

  • February 9, 2018—President Trump signed a government funding bill that allowed for increasing military spending by $165 billion over two years.[102]
  • March 23, 2018—President Trump reluctantly signed[103] an omnibus spending bill because it contained a massive military spending increase, with nearly $700 billion allotted to the military plus another $10 billion for military construction projects.[104]
  • August 13, 2018—President Trump signed the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act into law,[105] which, among other reforms, banned the U.S. government from using products from the Chinese companies ZTE and Huawei, strengthened the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), took measures to counter Chinese government influence in domestic U.S. society, and allowed Defense Secretary Mattis to waive sanctions on countries that had bought Russian weapons in the past but now wanted to buy American weapons.[106] While the bill took a tough stance on China, some of its measures were more lenient than originally proposed.[106]
  • September 28, 2018—President Trump signed a spending bill substantially increasing military spending to $674 billion, making it the first time in 10 years that Congress passed such a bill before the beginning of the new fiscal year.[107]
  • November 16, 2018—President Trump signed a bill into law making the DHS the most important agency for cybersecurity and organizing the agency's cybersecurity division.[108]

Executive actions, 2018

President Trump giving a speech at Fort Drum, New York, August 2018
President Trump with U.S. troops, August 2018

The Trump Administration made several achievements related to the U.S. military:

  • February 14, 2018—The Defense Department announced a new policy to remove service members who have been undeployable for over 12 months, with certain exceptions – when the policy was announced, nearly 300,000 service members, or about 14% of U.S. forces, were undeployable.[109]
  • March 23, 2018—President Trump signed an order banning transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military except in "limited circumstances."[24] On January 22, 2019, the Supreme Court allowed the ban to temporarily go into effect pending hearings in lower courts,[110] and the Pentagon finally moved to implement the order in March 2019.[111]
  • May 4, 2018—The U.S. Navy announced it would recreate the Second Fleet in response to increased Russian activity in the north Atlantic Ocean.[112] The fleet was formally re-established on August 24, 2018.[113]
  • June 2018—The Department of Defense did not issue a memo commemorating LGBT Pride Month, a change from previous years.[114]
  • June 18, 2018—President Trump announced he was directing the Department of Defense to begin the process of creating a new "space force" as a co-equal sixth branch of the military.[115] On August 9, 2018, Vice President Mike Pence announced the Trump Administration's plans to establish the Space Force.[116]
  • June 2018—The U.S. Army issued several service-wide memorandums to improve readiness training, which among other changes made formerly mandatory training on political correctness issues, such as transgender and drug abuse training, optional.[117] Early the next month, the Army revealed an updated and improved fitness test, the first time it had been updated since the 1980s,[118] and roughly the same time, it moved forward in completing the largest reorganization of the department in 45 years, establishing its Army Futures Command.[119] The Army took other steps in 2018 to improve its training and readiness.[120]
  • September 17, 2018—Secretary Mattis issued a memo ordering the Air Force and Navy to make 80% of their aircraft mission-capable in one year.[121]
  • November 15, 2018—The Pentagon completed and released its first-ever department-wide audit.[37]
  • December 18, 2018—President Trump signed a memorandum officially creating a U.S. space command.[122]

The Trump Administration made several achievements related to U.S. national security:

  • January 19, 2018—The Department of Defense released its National Defense Strategy, which shifted its strategic focus away from the main focus on counterterrorism adopted by previous administrations and toward effectively countering the threats posed by nation states – such as Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea.[123] The strategy took a significantly harder line on China compared to the Obama Administration,[124] and it emphasized the need for U.S. allies to pay a greater share for their defense to reduce the U.S.'s burden.[125] Additionally, the strategy removed climate change as a security threat.[126]
  • January 30, 2018—President Trump signed an executive order to keep Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp open – reversing an order signed by Obama in 2009.[127] As stated in the order, on May 2, 2018, the Pentagon announced that Defense Secretary Mattis had sent new criteria to the White House for when to send individuals to Guantanamo.[128]
  • February 2, 2018—The Trump Administration released its Nuclear Posture Review, which called for expanding U.S. nuclear capabilities and developing low-yield nuclear weapons in order to counter Russia and, to a lesser extent, China, Iran, and North Korea.[129]
  • February 15, 2018—The Securities and Exchange Commission blocked a Chinese attempt to buy the Chicago Stock Exchange.[130]
  • March 12, 2018—President Trump blocked Broadcom, a Singapore-based microchip company, from taking over Qualcomm, an American company, due to national security reasons.[131]
  • April 16, 2018—The Commerce Department instituted a seven-year ban on the Chinese telecommunications company ZTE Corp. for not punishing employees who violated U.S. sanctions against Iran and North Korea, banning American companies from selling parts to it.[132] In May 2018, the Defense Department banned stores on its military bases from selling products made by ZTE Corp. and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. due to concerns that those products could be used to spy on American servicemen.[133] On May 7, 2018, however, the Commerce Department announced it had reached an agreement with ZTE to lift its ban in exchange for a $1 billion fine and hiring a compliance team selected by the U.S. government,[134] and the ban was officially lifted on July 13, 2018.[135]
  • June 20, 2018—NASA, working with the White House, released a new plan to protect the Earth from nearby asteroids.[136]
  • April 17, 2018—The Federal Communications Commission unanimously voted to ban wireless carriers from using federal subsidies to buy from companies determined to pose a national security threat.[137]
  • July 2, 2018—The Trump Administration moved to block China Mobile from expanding operations to the U.S., recommending the FCC to reject its application.[138]
  • July 31, 2018—The DHS announced the creation of the National Risk Management Center to help protect the private sector from cyber threats.[139]
  • August 15, 2018—President Trump signed an order reversing an Obama-era directive limiting how the U.S. can launch cyber attacks against foreign nations.[140] On September 20, 2018, the Trump Administration announced it had implemented a new national cyber strategy.[141]
  • September 12, 2018—President Trump signed an executive order authorizing sanctions on any foreign individual or entity believed by the U.S. government to have meddled in U.S. elections.[142]
  • September 18, 2018—It was reported that the DOJ had ordered two Chinese state media companies to register as foreign agents.[143]
  • September 18, 2018—President Trump signed a memorandum ordering a new comprehensive biodefense strategy.[144]
  • October 5, 2018—The Trump Administration released a report discussing vulnerabilities in the U.S. defense industry, including reliance on foreign rivals such as China or susceptibility to hacking, and President Trump and his administration took steps to counter those vulnerabilities.[51]
  • October 9, 2018—The DHS took its first steps to protect the U.S. from an EMP attack, releasing an initial plan on the topic.[145]
  • October 11, 2018—The Trump Administration enacted restrictions on nuclear technology exports to China in order to prevent the country from using those exports to strengthen its military.[146]
  • October 24, 2018—Defense Secretary Mattis issued a memo creating a task force to find ways to protect the U.S. defense supply chain and prevent China, Russia, and other enemies from stealing important technologies.[147]
  • October 29, 2018—Citing national security concerns, the Commerce Department restricted U.S. exports to a Chinese semiconductor company.[148]
  • November 1, 2018—Attorney General Sessions announced the creation of a new DOJ initiative to crack down on Chinese espionage and its economic theft of intellectual property.[149]

The Trump Administration made several achievements related to anti-terrorism actions and operations:

  • January 20, 2018—During a partial government shutdown, the U.S. military showed its strength by launching several airstrikes that killed about 150 Islamic State fighters in Syria.[150]
  • March 2018—The U.S. military conducted airstrikes on al-Qaeda terrorists in southern Libya for the first time ever,[151] killing a high-ranking al-Qaeda terrorist.[152]
  • June 6, 2018—When hosting his first Ramadan (or Iftar) dinner, President Trump disinvited Muslim organizations tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, something in contrast to Obama when he hosted the dinners.[153]
  • October 4, 2018—The Trump Administration released its counterterrorism strategy, the first one since 2011.[154] The strategy strongly differed from the Obama Administration's policies,[155] and it emphasized targeting "radical Islamic terrorist groups."[156]
  • The U.S. military continued conducting airstrikes against al-Shabab in Somalia, and one notable airstrike in October 2018 killed 60 militants without any known civilian casualties.[157] The U.S. later announced that it killed 62 al-Shabab militants in several airstrikes on December 15–16, 2018.[158]

Proclamations, 2018

  • September 11, 2018—In his proclamation commemorating the September 11, 2001 attacks, President Trump condemned the "radical Islamist terrorists" who conducted the attacks.[159]

Other achievements, 2018

While the following achievements were not official United States government policy actions by the Trump Administration, they were closely related to the Trump Administration and its policies:

  • Even when President Trump disbanded the voter fraud commission he created the previous year because of its ineffectiveness due to numerous left-wing lawsuits, he voiced his strong support for voter ID legislation.[160]
  • The Trump Administration significantly increased its use of attributing cyberattacks to specific countries, rather than withholding the culprit's identity, compared to the Obama Administration. In eight years, the latter blamed the government of four countries for cyber attacks while the Trump Administration had blamed six by April 19, 2018.[161]


Among other national security-related actions,[162] the Trump Administration continued working to develop low-yield nuclear weapons, beginning producing them in January 2019,[163] and it continued acquiring other advanced technologies and weapons.[164] It also continued working to strengthen the domestic defense industry,[165] and it expanded its focus on outer space as a national priority.[166] Contrary to much of the mainstream media's coverage of President Trump's criticism of intelligence agencies, he respected those agencies while Obama politicized them during his presidency.[167] The FBI worked to refocus its operations to combat cyber threats[168] and also focused on China,[169] while the CIA refocused to counter nation-state rivals.[170] The U.S. military also refocused some of its operations to counter China,[171] and it attempted to expand its presence in the Arctic Ocean.[172] The Trump Administration adopted an aggressive cyber policy, expanding its offensive operations.[173] The federal government took some steps to secure U.S. elections.[174] Faced with the threat by China, the Trump Administration began working to secure new sources of rare earth minerals,[175] and it worked to protect U.S. national security in the tech sector.[176] By March 2019, the Trump Administration had made significant progress combatting the Islamic State,[177] and the last ISIS-controlled town was freed that month.[178] The U.S. conducted other operations against Islamic terrorist groups,[179] and it helped other countries improve their counterterrorism efforts.[180]

Executive actions, 2019

President Trump speaking at the Pentagon, January 17, 2019
The Trump Administration establishing U.S. Space Command, August 29, 2019
President Trump and senior officials monitor the operation that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, October 26, 2019

The Trump Administration made several achievements related to the U.S. military:

  • February 19, 2019—President Trump signed a directive ordering the Pentagon to draft legislation to create a Space Force.[181]
  • March 12, 2019—Acting Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist signed a directive implementing the Trump Administration's transgender military ban, after the Supreme Court and a federal court lifted injunctions on the policy.[111] The policy went into effect on April 12, 2019.[182]
  • April 16, 2019—The Army established a health registry to help solve the problem of poor and unhealthy army living conditions.[183]
  • May 10, 2019—The Pentagon signed a deal with Lockheed Martin over a major F-35 Lightning II that reduced the price by 8.8%.[184]
  • June 27, 2019—The U.S. Senate confirmed the first commander to lead U.S. Space Command.[185] The Trump Administration formally launched Space Command on August 29, 2019.[186]

The Trump Administration made several achievements related to U.S. national security:

  • January 16, 2019—President Trump signed four memorandums to strengthen the U.S. defense supply base.[187]
  • January 17, 2019—President Trump unveiled the administration's Missile Defense Review, the first such review since 2010.[188]
  • February 1, 2019—The Energy Department issued a memo stating it would ban its personnel, including its scientists, from participating in foreign talent-recruitment programs sponsored by "sensitive" countries such as China in order to protect U.S. national security.[189]
  • February 11, 2019—President Trump signed an executive order creating a national strategy for artificial intelligence and ordering federal agencies to prioritize AI development and to protect American AI technology from getting into the wrong hands, among other provisions.[190]
  • March 26, 2019—President Trump signed an executive order that took several steps to protect the U.S. and its electric grid from an EMP attack.[191]
  • April 12, 2019—President Trump announced several initiatives to promote the development of 5G networks in the U.S.[192] Among these, the Federal Communications Commission announced it would hold a 5G auction and spend $20 million to expand internet access in rural areas.[193]
  • April 17, 2019—The Trump Administration ended the Obama-era practice of disclosing the size of the U.S. nuclear weapon stockpile.[194]
  • April 30, 2019—The Trump Administration successfully forced the Chinese government-owned company Cosco to sell the Port of Long Beach in California due to national security concerns.[195] The sale was finalized later that year.[195]
  • May 2, 2019—President Trump signed an executive order intended to improve the federal government's cybersecurity workforce.[196]
  • May 9, 2019—The FCC voted to block China Mobile from entering the U.S. market because of security concerns.[197]
  • May 13, 2019—The Commerce Department banned six Chinese tech companies, along with several companies from other countries, from exporting sensitive American technology and other products.[198]
  • May 15, 2019—President Trump signed an executive order empowering the U.S. government to block foreign tech companies from operating in the U.S. if they pose a national security threat.[199][200] Shortly after the order's signing, the Commerce Department placed Huawei and seventy affiliates on its "Entity List," meaning it could no longer buy parts in the U.S. without federal government approval.[200][201] On June 29, 2019, President Trump announced he would allow U.S. companies to sell to Huawei as part of an agreement to restart trade negotiations with China.[202]
  • By mid-2019, the Trump Administration had significantly slowed its approvals of semiconductor company requests to hire Chinese citizens for sensitive positions.[203]
  • June 21, 2019—The Commerce Department added five Chinese supercomputing companies to its "Entity List," banning those companies from buying U.S. technology without approval from the federal government.[204]
  • July 22, 2019—President Trump ordered the Defense Department to find better ways to obtain rare earth minerals, something done to lessen U.S. dependence on China.[205]
  • July 23, 2019—The National Security Agency announced it would create a cybersecurity directorate to unify its defensive and offensive cybersecurity operations.[206]
  • August 7, 2019—The Trump Administration moved to ban the federal government from buying Huawei technology, in compliance with a federal law passed the previous year.[207]
  • October 28, 2019—The FCC proposed banning American companies that receive federal subsidies from purchasing equipment from Huawei and ZTE.[208]

The Trump Administration made several achievements related to anti-terrorism actions and operations:

  • January 1, 2019—President Trump and the U.S. government announced that an airstrike carried out on this day killed Jamal al-Badawi, a terrorist tied to the attack on the USS Cole in 2000.[209]
  • The U.S. continued taking action against al-Shabab in Somalia.[210] On January 19, 2019, it announced it killed 52 al-Shabab members in an airstrike.[211] On February 24, 2019, the U.S. killed 35 al-Shabab terrorists in an airstrike.[212]
  • March 15, 2019—President Trump signed an executive order that updated a 2011 order signed by President Obama, strengthening the definition of a "significant transnational criminal organization" so that the Trump Administration could better counter Mexican cartels and other similar organizations.[213]
  • April 14, 2019—The U.S. killed the deputy leader of ISIS's Somalia section in an airstrike.[214]
  • September 10, 2019—President Trump signed an executive order allowing the federal government to impose sanctions on terrorist leaders without needing to specify specific actions committed by those individuals.[215]
  • September 14, 2019—President Trump announced that Hamza bin Laden, one of Osama bin Laden's sons, had been milled in a U.S. airstrike.[216]
  • October 27, 2019—President Trump announced that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been killed by U.S. forces one day earlier, achieving a significant U.S. national security goal.[217] Only hours after al-Baghdadi's death, U.S. forces killed ISIS spokesman Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, the terrorist organization's second-in-command, in a separate operation.[218]

Other achievements, 2019

While the following achievements were not official United States government policy actions by the Trump Administration, they were closely related to the Trump Administration and its policies:


  1. Wong, Kristina (April 24, 2017). Trump Takes on Terrorism in His First Hundred Days. Breitbart News. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  2. Multiple references:
  3. McKay, Hollie (December 8, 2017). Trump, Mattis turn military loose on ISIS, leaving terror caliphate in tatters. Fox News. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  4. Wong, Kristina (July 19, 2017). WINNING: Five Pentagon Successes Under President Trump. Breitbart News. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
    See also:
  5. Wong, Kristina (July 24, 2017). Defense Secretary Jim Mattis Explains How Trump’s ISIS Strategy Is Different from Obama’s. Breitbart News. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  6. Multiple references: The Washington Post article also published by Stars and Stripes: Other sources:
  7. Multiple references: See also:
  8. Multiple references:
  9. Multiple references:
  10. Antle III, W. James (August 2, 2017). Trump turns to his generals in times of trouble. Washington Examiner. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  11. Multiple references:
  12. Wong, Kristina (December 31, 2017). Why Defense Secretary Jim Mattis Doesn’t Carry Challenge Coins: ‘I’m Saving Money for Bombs’. Breitbart News. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
  13. Boyer, Dave (December 26, 2017). Trump having trouble appointing swamp-drainers. The Washington Times. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  14. Dorman, Sam (November 5, 2019). CIA staff complained about Obama White House's political correctness, new book claims. Fox News. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  15. Multiple references:
  16. Multiple references: However, the aircraft carrier was the first Navy ship to have gender-neutral bathrooms:
  17. Multiple references:
  18. Multiple references:
  19. Multiple references: See also:
  20. Multiple references:
  21. 21.0 21.1 Multiple references:
  22. Multiple references: The announced ban was popular with social conservatives:
  23. Multiple references: However, the ban would not go into effect until a study on the order was completed:
  24. 24.0 24.1 Multiple references: Despite this order, President Trump retreated from a total ban on transgender individuals in the military: See also:
  25. Multiple references:
  26. Multiple references:
  27. Multiple references:
  28. Scarborough, Rowan (July 2, 2017). Trump’s war of annihilation strategy against Islamic State frees military to quickly seize territory. The Washington Times. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  29. Multiple references: President Trump, however, was not uninvolved or detached from decision making regarding the Afghan War:
  30. Multiple references: See also:
  31. Multiple references:
  32. Multiple references:
  33. Multiple references:
  34. Multiple references:
  35. Multiple references:
  36. Multiple references: See also:
  37. 37.0 37.1 Multiple references: See also: The Pentagon released a follow-up to the audit in January 2019, and it announced it had begun a second agency-wide audit: The effects of the Pentagon's efforts:
  38. Multiple references: The DHS later revealed it instituted the ban after a similar explosive destroyed an airplane in a test:
  39. Dinan, Stephen (July 11, 2017). Six foreign airports earn their way off DHS’s laptop ban. The Washington Times. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  40. Multiple references:
  41. Multiple references:
  42. Multiple references:
  43. Multiple references: President Trump later appointed conservative J. Christian Adams to the commission: The commission's first meeting was held on July 19, 2017:
  44. Multiple references: See also:
  45. Dinan, Stephen (January 16, 2018). DHS won’t do voter-fraud investigation after Trump commission shut down. The Washington Times. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
  46. Multiple references:
  47. Multiple references:
  48. Multiple references:
  49. Multiple references:
  50. Multiple references: See also:
  51. 51.0 51.1 Multiple references: Some of the actions taken by the Trump Administration to counter the vulnerabilities listed in the report: See also:
  52. Multiple references:
  53. Trump Blocks China-Backed Lattice Bid. Bloomberg. September 13, 2017. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  54. Multiple references:
  55. Multiple references: Most government domains met the one-year deadline:
  56. Multiple references:
  57. Multiple references:
  58. 58.0 58.1 Hayward, John (December 18, 2017). Trump’s National Security Strategy: Economic Strength, Border Security, Ideological Warfare. Breitbart News. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  59. Jasper, William F. (December 29, 2017). Deep State Boasts: We’re Sabotaging Trump From the Inside. The New American. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  60. 60.0 60.1 Multiple references:
  61. Carney, John (December 18, 2017). Trump Puts Trade at Heart of National Security Strategy. Breitbart News. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  62. Munro, Neil (December 18, 2017). Open Borders Are a Top Threat, Says President Trump’s Security Strategy. Breitbart News. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  63. 63.0 63.1 63.2 Hasson, Peter (December 18, 2017). Five Ways Trump’s New National Security Strategy Is A Rejection Of Obama’s. The Daily Caller. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  64. Multiple references:
  65. Pollak, Joel B. (December 18, 2017). Trump’s National Security Strategy Suggests Climate Change Lobby Is a Threat. Breitbart News. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  66. Berger, Judson (December 18, 2017). Trump national security strategy restores reference to 'jihadist' terror threat. Breitbart News. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
    See also:
  67. Multiple references:
  68. Multiple references:
  69. Bedard, Paul (December 20, 2017). Trump first president to protect electric grid from EMP, cyberattacks. Washington Examiner. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
    See also:
  70. Seldin, Jeff (December 18, 2017). Trump Hails New Era of Global Competition, Says 'America is Going to Win'. Voice of America. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  71. Multiple references: See also:
  72. Griffin, Jennifer; Tomlinson, Lucas (April 14, 2017). MOAB drop ordered by US general, Trump approval not needed, officials say. Fox News. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  73. Multiple references:
  74. McKay, Hollie (May 2, 2017). 'MOAB' aftermath: Fox News tours site where Afghanistan bomb was dropped. Fox News. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
  75. McKay, Hollie (May 11, 2017). MOAB damage in Afghanistan extreme, widespread. Fox News. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  76. Multiple references: The estimates came from the Afghan government, as the U.S. government chose not to release death toll numbers:
  77. Davis, Jack (April 14, 2017). MOAB Inflicts Vast Damage To ISIS In Afghanistan – ‘Biggest Complex Destroyed’. Western Journalism. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  78. Chappell, Bill (April 14, 2017). Afghan Official Says 94 ISIS Fighters Killed In 'Mother Of All Bombs' Attack. NPR. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  79. Mora, Edwin (April 14, 2017). With MOAB, U.S. Military Delivers Major Blow to Weak Afghan Islamic State. Breitbart News. Retrieved April 16, 2017.
  80. Mora, Edwin (May 17, 2017). Trump State Dept. Breaks from Obama White House: Afghan Taliban Is a ‘Terrorist Organization’. Breitbart News. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
  81. Multiple references:
  82. Multiple references: See also:
  83. 83.0 83.1 Munro, Neil (June 25, 2017). DHS John Kelly Defunds, Disinvites Islamic Groups Favored By Barack Obama. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 25, 2017.
  84. Multiple references:
  85. Multiple references:
  86. Multiple references: See also:
  87. Multiple references:
  88. Guled, Abdi (December 12, 2017). US drone strike removes 'imminent threat' to Somali capital. Stars and Stripes (from the Associated Press). Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  89. Multiple references:
  90. Carter, Brandon (July 1, 2017). Trump breaks tradition, doesn't recognize LGBT Pride Month. The Hill. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  91. Scarborough, Rowan (June 11, 2017). Pentagon continues LGBT pride celebration; conservatives say it’s a shame in Trump administration. The Washington Times. Retrieved June 11, 2017.
  92. Wong, Kristina (March 28, 2018). Defense Secretary Jim Mattis — President Trump’s New Battle Buddy? Breitbart News. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
    See also:
  93. Wong, Kristina (August 30, 2018). Defense Secretary Jim Mattis Works Non-Stop–This Is What He’s Achieved So Far. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  94. Mora, Edwin (April 26, 2018). Mattis: Pentagon Moving Away from War on Terror to Challenges by China, Russia. Breitbart News. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
    See also:
  95. Mora, Edwin (May 11, 2018). Under Trump Era, Islamic State Downgraded from ‘Caliphate’ to Shrinking Terror Pockets. Breitbart News. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
    See also: The capture of five high-ranking ISIS leaders in May 2018 served as a notable achievement against ISIS: Other victories: Despite all this, ISIS remained a threat:
  96. Multiple references: See also:
  97. Multiple references: See also:
  98. Multiple references:
  99. Re, Gregg (October 30, 2018). Trump dramatically expands US espionage spending amid threats from Russia, China and North Korea. Fox News. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
    See also:
  100. Kant, Garth (August 7, 2018). Trump's Plan to Change the World. The Daily Caller. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  101. Osborn, Kris (December 20, 2018). Pentagon moves ahead with new low-yield nuclear weapon, amid resurgent debate. Fox News (from Warrior Maven). Retrieved December 29, 2018.
    See also:
  102. Multiple references: Conservatives criticized the same bill for its large domestic spending increases, something the GOP did to win necessary Democrat votes:
  103. Multiple references:
  104. Multiple references: Congress gave the Defense Department extra flexibility in choosing when to spend the money:
  105. Multiple references:
  106. 106.0 106.1 Multiple references: More on the measures in the bill: Specifically on CFIUS: See also: The Trump Administration moved to begin enforcing the law shortly afterward: Implementing other aspects of the law:
  107. Multiple references: Conservative criticisms of the bill, including its failure to include border wall spending: An earlier bill President Trump signed into law:
  108. Multiple references:
  109. Multiple references: See also:
  110. Multiple references: A federal judge lifted an injunction on the policy shortly after the Supreme Court's decision: The last obstacle to implementation was lifted shortly afterward:
  111. 111.0 111.1 Multiple references: Earlier that month, the Pentagon announced it would implement the policy: See also:
  112. Multiple references:
  113. Multiple references: See also:
  114. Multiple references:
  115. Multiple references: See also:
  116. Multiple references: See also:
  117. Multiple references: See also:
  118. Multiple references: See also:
  119. Multiple references: See also: The Futures Command was activated on August 24, 2018:
  120. Multiple references: See also:
  121. Multiple references: See also:
  122. Multiple references:
  123. Multiple references: See also:
  124. Wong, Kristina (January 19, 2018). National Defense Strategy: China a ‘Strategic Competitor Using Predatory Economics’. Breitbart News. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  125. Multiple references:
  126. Multiple references:
  127. Multiple references: Subsequent actions: See also:
  128. Multiple references:
  129. Multiple references: The Trump Administration's nuclear policy was tougher toward Russia than the Obama Administration's:
  130. Multiple references:
  131. Multiple references: Broadcom officially withdrew the offer after it was blocked: See also:
  132. Multiple references: See also:
  133. Multiple references:
  134. Multiple references: The Trump Administration announced shortly afterward that the ban on ZTE would not be lifted until it paid the fine and an additional escrow payment: ZTE's board and executive changes: The Trump Administration allowed ZTE to temporarily resume some of its operations for a month: The Commerce Department announced it had signed an agreement to end the ban:
  135. Multiple references: ZTE saw large losses in the first half of 2018 because of the ban: Congress tried but failed to pass a bill blocking the agreement:
  136. Multiple references:
  137. Multiple references: See also:
  138. Multiple references:
  139. Multiple references:
  140. Multiple references:
  141. Multiple references: See also:
  142. Multiple references:
  143. Multiple references:
  144. Multiple references:
  145. Multiple references:
  146. Multiple references:
  147. Capaccio, Tony; Levinson, Robert (November 1, 2018). Mattis Moves to Protect Defense Supply Chain From Rivals' Theft. Bloomberg. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  148. Multiple references: See also:
  149. Multiple references: The initiative came as the DOJ charged some Chinese agents with espionage: See also:
  150. Multiple references:
  151. Multiple references:
  152. Multiple references:
  153. Multiple references: See also:
  154. Multiple references:
  155. Boylan, Dan (October 4, 2018). Bolton's outline for U.S. counterterrorism sharply contrasts with Obama era. The Washington Times. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  156. Multiple references:
  157. Multiple references: See also:
  158. Multiple references: See also:
  159. Multiple references: President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence also referred to radical Islamic terrorism in speeches they made that day:
  160. Multiple references:
  161. Uchill, Joe (April 19, 2018). Trump already passed Obama in cyber-crime attribution. Axios. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  162. Multiple references:
  163. Multiple references: See also:
  164. Multiple references: See also:
  165. Navarro, Peter (March 19, 2019). Why America Needs a Stronger Defense Industry. The New York Times. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  166. Philipp, Joshua (March 22, 2019). Trump’s Space Program to Counter Strategic Threats, Advance Innovation. The Epoch Times. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
    See also:
  167. Klein, Aaron (February 4, 2019). Klein: Trump Respects Independence of Intel Agencies While Obama Politicized Them. Breitbart News. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
    See also:
  168. Volz, Dustin; Tau, Byron (March 29, 2019). FBI, Retooling Once Again, Sets Sights on Expanding Cyber Threats. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
    See also:
  169. Multiple references:
  170. Multiple references:
  171. Multiple references:
  172. Multiple references:
  173. Multiple references: Specifically regarding Russia, including President Trump's response: Specifically regarding China: Regarding Iran:
  174. Multiple references:
  175. Multiple references: See also:
  176. Multiple references:
  177. Multiple references: See also:
  178. Multiple references: The White House's announcement: On March 23, 2019, U.S.-supported forces in Syria announced the Islamic State had been defeated: See also:
  179. Multiple references:
  180. Donati, Jessica (May 6, 2019). As Diplomacy Shifts, U.S. Expands Military-Style Counterterrorism Training. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  181. Multiple references: See also:
  182. Multiple references: Military service academies began implementing the policy:
  183. Multiple references:
  184. Multiple references:
  185. Multiple references: See also:
  186. Multiple references: Earlier articles: See also:
  187. Multiple references: The four memorandums:
  188. Multiple references: Specifically regarding North Korea:
  189. Multiple references: Implementation of the ban:
  190. Multiple references: Articles published shortly before President Trump signed the order: The Pentagon released its own strategy the following day: See also:
  191. Multiple references: See also:
  192. Multiple references: See also:
  193. Multiple references:
  194. Multiple references:
  195. 195.0 195.1 Multiple references:
  196. Multiple references: See also:
  197. Multiple references: See also:
  198. Multiple references: See also:
  199. Multiple references: See also:
  200. 200.0 200.1 Higgins, Tucker (May 15, 2019). Trump declares national emergency over threats against US technology amid campaign against Huawei. CNBC. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
    See also:
  201. Multiple references: Analysis and impact on Huawei: Huawei's self-estimated impact: The Commerce Department announced on May 20, 2019, that it would grant temporary exemptions to the blacklist: On August 19, 2019, the administration announced another 90-day extension for Huawei and added an additional 46 companies to the blacklist: On November 18, 2019, the Trump Administration announced another deadline extension for Huawei:
  202. Multiple references: See also: Details of the wider agreement:
  203. Multiple references:
  204. Multiple references:
  205. Multiple references: President Trump signed six determinations on this:
  206. Multiple references:
  207. Multiple references:
  208. Multiple references: See also:
  209. Multiple references:
  210. Wolfgang, Ben (March 20, 2019). Inside Trump's escalating war on terror in Africa. The Washington Times. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
    See also:
  211. Multiple references:
  212. Multiple references: See also:
  213. Multiple references:
  214. Multiple references:
  215. Multiple references:
  216. Multiple references:
  217. Multiple references: Other statements by President Trump: Statements by other Trump Administration officials: Articles on the raid itself: Other results of the operation: See also:
  218. Multiple references:
  219. Winkler, Rolfe (June 11, 2019). Chinese Cash Is Suddenly Toxic in Silicon Valley, Following U.S. Pressure. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  220. Restuccia, Andrew; Volz, Dustin (July 30, 2019). Trump Calls for Voter-ID Laws, Use of Paper Ballots as Backup. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 30, 2019.