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GOP faithful praise Trump on national security

January 31, 2018 Updated: January 31, 2018 at 8:59 am
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President Donald Trump in his State of the Union address Tuesday called for an apparent expansion of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, announced looser rules of engagement for troops in Afghanistan and pledged tighter accountability at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The speech drew plaudits from two Colorado Republican congressmen.

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora called Trump's address "inspirational."

Trump vowed to be tough with North Korea and Iran, would-be nuclear powers.

To back his muscular call to arms, he asked for congressional cash and the lifting of spending caps from the 2011 Budget Control Act.

U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs said that was the key remark.

"He wants to rebuild the funding for our military," said Lamborn, who sits on the House Armed Services Committee with Coffman.

Lamborn said Fort Carson families, who will send as many as 10,000 troops to Afghanistan this year, had reason to cheer Trump.

"We are going to put the soldier first, and we are not going to delay decisions when lives are on the line," he said.

Coffman praised Trump for his new approach allowing U.S. troops to more freely target Afghan insurgents.

"This is a major change in the rules of engagement and allows us to target the Taliban whenever we see them in the open," Coffman said.

He also said Trump, by not outlining a plan to withdraw from Afghanistan, will keep America's enemies guessing.

But he disputed Trump's taking credit for VA reforms.

"I don't think they are anywhere close to where they ought to be in taking care of veterans," Coffman said.

"I think it is too early for a victory lap," he said.

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