Lt. Gen. John Kelly will soon become the new four-star commander at U.S. Southern Command, a post that will require him to oversee the fight against drug trafficking, natural disasters, humanitarian crises and cyber warfare in central and South America.
As the Long War Journal points out, Kelly delivered a powerful 30-minute speech on Tuesday to the American Legion National Convention in Indianapolis. He addresses the extremist nature of the threat the U.S. faces from terrorists and how difficult it is for a family to deal with the loss of a loved one in a war zone — something he knows all to well after his son, 1st Lt. Robert Kelly, was killed in Afghanistan’s Sangin district in 2010.
“We didn’t start this fight. It came to us with a visceral loathing of everything we are,” Kelly said. “It will not end until our adversaries and their allies around the world — state and non-state alike — understand that we will never lose our faith or courage as a people. Our enemy is savage. He offers absolutely no quarter. He has a single focus, and that is to either kill every one of us here at home, or to enslave us with a sick form of extremism that serves no god or no purpose that any decent man or woman could ever understand. I don’t know why they hate us, and I don’t care. But we are America, and we must prevail because we remain mankind’s best hope for the future. Not them.”
The speech is delivered somberly, respectfully and forcefully — and it’s well worth watching. Check it out here: