ROGER WICKER: Calling for US leadership in wake of ISIS attacks
The Islamic State’s ruthless murder of innocent civilians is a heartbreaking reminder of the hate that exists toward those of us that love freedom. Following the devastating attacks in Paris and Beirut that claimed nearly 200 lives, the message is loud and clear: We cannot let our guard down.
• President Barack Obama should heed advice of military leaders: The president’s assertion that the Islamic State is “contained” does not reflect the reality and severity of the terror threats against the United States and our Western European allies. Confronting these threats will take more than half-measures from the Administration, which has sent mixed messages about U.S. resolve in Iraq and Syria, where the Islamic State occupies significant swaths of territory. Instead, President Obama should reassess his strategy with our military generals and admirals and then provide what they need to win this fight and prevent the Islamic State from establishing a permanent foothold in the Middle East.
The United States cannot eradicate the Islamic State alone. This mission will take a coalition of nations and will not happen overnight. I do not advocate sending large numbers of American soldiers beyond the U.S. special forces already in Syria. Our Arab partners have indicated a willingness to put troops on the ground, but American leadership is critical to mobilizing international support. Direct combat should be driven by our regional allies, who understand all too well what is at stake if this savage ideology persists. We cannot want to defeat the Islamic State more than our friends in the Middle East.