The President's Strategy on ISIL


Date: Sept. 15, 2014
Issues: Defense

Twelve years ago I voted against declaring war on Iraq. It was a vote against going to war without a clear threat to America, without support from our allies, and without a viable exit strategy. We are still living with the fallout from President Bush's decision to take us to war, and I am more convinced than ever that a "no" vote then was the right vote.

Today we face a real threat in Iraq. The radical group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is taking advantage of the chaos left in the wake of the Iraq War. They have already killed two Americans and are capable of expanding their campaign of terror well beyond Iraq.

Wednesday night, President Obama laid out a clear strategy to eliminate the threat posed by ISIL to the American people and our homeland. I support the President's plan for sustained, deliberate action against ISIL.

The truth is this fight will be a test of our alliances, not a test of our will. We know that "going it alone" in Iraq was a failed strategy in 2003. This time, our friends and allies in the region and in Europe -- those with the most at stake -- need to step up and take responsibility for this fight from the outset. And Iraqis must prove that they truly want to be Iraqis, not just Shia or Sunni, Kurd or Christian.

Our job, in concert with our partners, must be to isolate and break down ISIL so that we defeat this threat from within and across the region. And in this fight, the President got it right: "American leadership is the one constant."

I'm confident that we will again face down another great challenge.