Jan 20, 2015

What is the President’s Strategy to Combat Terrorism?

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House adopted a resolution condemning the terrorist attacks in Paris and offering our condolences to the French people. In the wake of these attacks and before the President’s State of the Union address, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) calls on the President to answer fundamental questions about the war against terrorism:

“On Sunday, President Obama’s former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Leon Panetta warned of an increasingly aggressive terrorist enemy and expressed concern we are embarking on a more dangerous chapter in the global war against terrorism.  Today, the House passed a resolution recognizing the horrifying terrorist attacks that took place in Paris and acknowledging the growing threat posed by radical Islamist terrorists.

“President Obama has spent much of his presidency spreading false hope that the ‘tide of war’ was receding despite mountains of evidence to the contrary.  Although the Obama Administration sought to declare the war on terrorism over, the terrorists have only increased their assaults against free and moderate societies who do not share their extremist worldview. 

“Tonight, in his State of the Union address, President Obama has an opportunity to rally the nation and the world against this gathering threat. 

“Amidst increasing threats to the homeland, will President Obama call on Congress to reauthorize expiring provisions of the USA Patriot Act that have kept our nation safe?  Will he present a coherent strategy to address the continuing threat posed by ISIL in both Iraq and Syria?  Will he discuss the terrorist safe havens emerging from Libya’s descent into lawlessness and chaos?  Will the President acknowledge the threat that the Taliban’s growing strength in Afghanistan poses to our hard-fought successes in that country? 

“As negotiations with Iran continue, will he be honest that we are threatened not merely by Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, but also by Tehran’s regional aggression and its support for terrorist groups like Hizballah in Syria and Lebanon, Shiite militias in Iraq, and HAMAS and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza?  Will he acknowledge that Yemen, with Iranian-backed fighters on the march in the capital, is not a model of a successful counterterrorism strategy? Will he again double-down on his senseless campaign promise to empty GITMO of terrorists?

“The time for clarity of purpose and action is now.  The war on terrorism isn’t going to lead itself.”