Retired Army Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg’s full speech at the Republican National Convention

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National Security Adviser to the vice president and retired Army Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg spoke on the third night of the Republican National Convention on Aug. 26, 2020.


Good evening. I’m retired Lieutenant general, Keith Kellogg. In 1967, at the age of 22, I volunteered to serve my country in Vietnam. From the jungles of Vietnam to the deserts of Iraq, I have gone where my nation asked. I have borne witness to soldier’s last moments on earth, their lives spent in hope and promise of a better future for all Americans. I was in the Pentagon on September 11th, 2001. I lost friends there that day. In the years that followed, I watched my daughter, son and son-in-law deploy to Afghanistan. I have looked into the eyes of my grandchildren, as they said goodbye to their fathers and hugged them one last time. I live to service. I understand sacrifice. I know leadership. Over the past three and a half years, I have witnessed every major foreign policy and national security decision by the President. I have been in the room where it happened.

I saw only one agenda, and one guiding question when tough calls had to be made. Is this decision right for America? When President Donald Trump took office decades of failed foreign policy had crippled us. He faced wars without end in sight, creation of failed states like Libya and Syria, a pass that allowed a terrorist caliphate to grow and leadership in Washington that allowed our military to atrophy, while we spent trillions of dollars abroad, instead of investing at home. President Trump has reversed the decline of our military and restructured our national security strategy with historic investment and vision.

Our military is now better equipped, better resourced and better manned than any military in the world. President Trump demolished the terrorist ISIS caliphate in the Middle East and eliminated its leader, al-Baghdadi, one of the world’s most brutal terrorists. President Trump took decisive action against Iranian terrorist mastermind, Qasem Soleimani, a man responsible for deaths of hundreds of American service men in Iraq. When our NATO allies failed to meet their commitments, as we upheld ours, President Trump demanded parody. NATO members have now increased their contributions over $100 billion this year, and NATO’s secretary general credits President Donald J. Trump.

President Trump challenged and continues to challenge an ever- increasingly provocative and militant China, but make no mistake. President Trump is no Hawk. He wisely wheels the sword when required, but believes in seeking peace instead of perpetual conflict. Just over a week ago, our President brokered a peace agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, the first in the Middle East in over 25 years. This week, Afghan negotiators, with help from American officials, will start peace negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government to end America’s longest war. Ask yourself, has this President kept his promises to keep us out of needless conflicts and to pursue ending wars without end? Has he defended your interests in renegotiating trade deals that previously hurt Americans international security?

Has he fulfilled his Commander in Chief role, by decisively going after our nation’s enemies? You and I know, the answer is yes. The choice is clear. This is the most important election of our lifetime. The next four years will decide the course of our country for decades to come. I am asking you to stand up and be counted, so we never have to look back and recall what it was once like in America when men and women were free, our families were secure and we had a President who served the people. God bless America. Thank you, and goodnight.

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