Roby: US must address ISIS threats

Published 09/01 2014 11:37AM

Updated 09/01 2014 11:38AM

I have been traveling throughout Alabama's 2nd Congressional District over the month of August discussing the latest from Washington and, more importantly, listening to my constituents to gain a better understanding about the issues that matter to you. We've been through Prattville, Montgomery, Tallassee, Union Springs, Troy, Luverne, Evergreen, Andalusia, Elba, Enterprise, Geneva, Hartford and beyond. Among the top issues brought up in every town was the growing threat posed by the self-identified Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.

In recent months I have gained increasing insight of this organization. I have seen the footage and photographs of innocent men, women and children being crucified and beheaded, including the beheading of American journalist James Foley.

This is a next-generation terrorist organization that is well-funded, well-organized and has demonstrated military-style capabilities and discipline. Even more disturbing is the incredible ambition ISIS displays to expand the group’s stop-at-nothing expansionist Islamic ideology.

We cannot wait for ISIS to gain even more ground before we act to combat this threat. While limited air strikes in Iraq have slowed progress, it is clear that more must be done. The U.S. must take decisive military action to address this threat immediately. I look to our battle-tested military leaders to craft a strategically-wise course of action, but it is President Obama who must take command.

It was quite telling when President Obama admitted at a press conference that "we don't have a strategy yet" for dealing with ISIS. The White House tried to spin this "gaffe," but it was really a statement of fact. We don't have a strategy for defeating ISIS, and we need one.

This situation also emphasizes the urgent need to secure our borders. We know that ISIS has recruited militants from Western nations, making this group even more of a risk to our national security.

As always, the United States must learn from the past. Appeasing groups that seek a cultural, religious or ethnic ‘cleansing’ only emboldens them. ISIS is killing anyone who does not conform to its bastardized, barbaric form of Islam, and they will not stop unless they are ended.

In addressing this threat, we can also learn an important lesson regarding our foreign policy and military readiness. The President’s weak foreign policy has directly contributed to this problem, allowing this situation to fester to the dangerous situation we now face. And don't think our enemies haven't noticed the hollowing out of our military force through deep cuts to defense spending. This situation calls for strengthening our military readiness, not undermining it with unnecessary cuts.

America must lead in the world again, ensuring peace through strength.

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