President-elect Donald Trump laid out a US military policy on Tuesday that would avoid interventions in foreign conflicts and instead focus heavily on defeating the Islamic State militancy.
In the latest stop on a "thank you" tour of states critical to his Nov 8 election win, Trump introduced his choice for defense secretary, General James Mattis, to a large crowd in this city near the Fort Bragg military base, which has deployed soldiers to 90 countries around the world.
"We will stop racing to topple foreign regimes that we know nothing about, that we shouldn't be involved with," Trump said. "Instead, our focus must be on defeating terrorism and destroying ISIS, and we will."
In Fayetteville, he vowed a strong rebuilding of the US military, which he suggested has been stretched too thin. Instead of investing in wars, he said, he would spend money to build up America's aging roads, bridges and airports.
Even so, Trump said he wants to boost spending on the military. To help pay for his buildup, Trump pledged to seek congressional approval for lifting caps on defense spending that were part of "sequestration" legislation that imposed cut spending across the board.
Trump said any nation that shares these goals will be considered a US partner. He said the policy of "intervention and chaos" must come to an end.
While US armed forces are deployed in far-flung places around the globe, they are only involved currently in active combat in the Middle East.
"We will build up our military not as an act of aggression, but as an act of prevention," he said.
Earlier on Tuesday, President Barack Obama used his final address on global terror to defend his approach to the fight, calling for coalition-building to continue battlefield successes while rejecting the use of torture.
"Rather than offer false promises that we can eliminate terrorism by dropping more bombs or deploying more and more troops or fencing ourselves off from the rest of the world, we have to take a long view of the terrorist threat," Obama said.
"And we have to pursue a smart strategy that can be sustained."
Obama also defended his approach to fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. He said the group has lost "more than half" its territory.
Obama however stressed that the fight against terror should not come at the expense of civil rights and American democratic traditions. Still, the threat of global terror will remain an issue "for years to come," Obama said.
Trump opposes new Air Force One
US President-elect Donald Trump urged the government on Tuesday to cancel an order with Boeing Co for a revamped Air Force One, saying costs were out of control. "Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!" Trump said on Twitter. It was not immediately clear what prompted the timing of his complaint. Boeing has responded to Trump's tweet. The aircraft manufacturer revealed that its current contract with the Air Force is actually for $170m.