The terrorist attack in San Bernardino is a reminder that radical Islamic extremists will continue to target our nation. In order to protect Americans, our commander-in-chief needs to be committed to a very specific plan, which includes U.S. involvement and support for our allies, that ends when ISIS is destroyed.
First and foremost, President Obama needs to acknowledge that what we’re doing now isn’t working. A few weeks before the terrorist attack in Paris, he proclaimed that ISIS was “contained.” It’s time for him to recognize reality.
When President Obama spoke from the Oval Office, Americans rightly expected him to have new information or a detailed plan to present. Unfortunately, we only received his support of the current direction and none of the leadership we expect from a President responding to a national crisis.
The implications of this lack of leadership go beyond ISIS. Around the world, our allies are frustrated and disheartened, and our enemies are emboldened. It was reported this week that a Ukrainian infantry unit of 120 men received only one outdated bulletproof vest as part of U.S. assistance. Many of our other key partners and allies who have requested U.S. military equipment are in a permanent holding pattern because they aren’t getting a response from the Administration. China, North Korea and others are watching our feckless behavior, so it was no surprise that Iran recently tested another ballistic missile in violation of two U.N. Security Council resolutions.
Now more than ever, we need to build a 21st century military to handle all these threats. The sequestration cuts to our defense have been very damaging, and I will continue to work to fully fund our national security. Our service men and women need to have the resources, training and weapons to keep us safe.
In addition, we must review our policy of accepting people who are from overseas war zones. We know terrorists in both Paris and San Bernardino exploited these policies. That is why I played a leading role in the House of Representatives passing the American SAFE Act, which would require multiple U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies to certify an individual is not a threat before allow him or her into our country.
Americans are rightly concerned about the threats we face. We are tired of the stagnation and malaise of the last seven years, and are yearning to return to engaged world leadership. In short, we want to be confident again. You can be sure I will continue to work in a productive manner to inspire the confidence we need.
Member of Congress
P.S. - Last week, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan outlined his vision for an America that inspires the confidence of its citizens at home and its allies abroad. You can view his speech here.