Republicans on Monday slammed Barack Obama for not spelling out a clear action plan to defeat Islamic State with leading presidential aspirant of the party Donald Trump panning the US President for not saying that America is at “war with radical Islamic terrorists”.
“Obama refused to say (he just can’t say it) that we are at WAR with RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISTS,” Trump said in a series of tweets soon after Obama delivered a rare address to the nation in which he assured Americans of defeating ISIS. Expressing disappointment over Obama’s address, he said, “Is that all there is? We need a new President – FAST!,” he said, adding that the US should have gone after oil years ago.
Joining Trump in being disappointed over Obama’s speech, Paul Ryan, Speaker of the US House of Representatives said the primary responsibility is to keep the Americans safe from the real and evolving threat of radical Islamic terrorism. “That will require the president to produce a comprehensive strategy to confront and defeat ISIS. The enemy is adapting, and we must too. That’s why what we heard tonight was so disappointing: no new plan, just a half-hearted attempt to defend and distract from a failing policy,” he said.
“The horrific events of recent weeks remind us that any hope to contain ISIS has been a failure. Until we hear from the President what more can be done, with our military, our intelligence gathering, and our international partners, we will remain one step behind our enemy. This is not just the next president’s problem. It is our problem, and we must confront it today,” Ryan said.
Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Obama offered no changes to his reactive, indirect, and incremental strategy. “He continues to assume that time is on our side. It is not. If we do not destroy this threat now, and fast, no one should be surprised if America gets attacked again.
Whatever we would do in response to such an attack is what we should do now to prevent it. America needs a strategy to destroy ISIS as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, that is not what President Obama described tonight,” McCain said. After more than a year of an indecisive military campaign, ISIS maintains its sanctuaries in Iraq and Syria to conduct and inspire attacks like Paris and San Bernardino, he said.
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus said the US faces a real threat from radical Islamic terrorism. “The terrorists seek to tear down the very constitutional rights we enjoy and that countless men and women have fought to defend, to react by trying to limit the rights enshrined by our constitution would be a terrible mistake.
The attacks in San Bernardino should serve as a wake-up call for Obama and Clinton that the way to victory is not through the status quo but refocusing our efforts to defeat ISIS,” Priebus said. Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush said the US needs to remove the self-imposed constraints Obama has placed on the intelligence community and military.