Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Buchanan Urges President Obama to Clarify ISIS Strategy

Feb 10, 2015
Press Release

Islamic Extremism Poses Growing Threat to America

“Confusion”….. Says Former Defense Intelligence Agency Director

WASHINGTON — Congressman Vern Buchanan, R-FL, today called for President Obama to lay out a clear and comprehensive strategy to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS), the terrorist group responsible for the mass slaughter of innocents across the globe. Buchanan's statement comes just days before the President is expected to ask Congress to formally approve an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against ISIS.

“Now is the time for the President to articulate an overarching strategy to defeat ISIS and explain how he intends to build a greater international effort that does not rely on American combat troops,” Buchanan said. “The leadership vacuum in the White House must be replaced by a clear and coherent vision."

According to reports, ISIS has almost doubled the land it controls in Syria since the US-led coalition began airstrikes against the extremist group in the summer.  Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, warned of the group's evolution in North Africa.  "With affiliates in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, the group is beginning to assemble a growing international footprint that includes ungoverned and under governed areas,” Stewart testified before the House Armed Services Committee.

Michael Morell, former deputy director of the CIA under President Obama, made it clear on CBS's "Face the Nation" that the Islamic State presents a growing threat to America.  "Does ISIS pose a threat to the United States — absolutely."

The White House displayed alarming disregard for that threat when National Security Advisor Susan Rice said last week,  “Too often, what’s missing here in Washington is a sense of perspective."

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, used one word to describe the administration's strategy: "confusion."

"I feel like when we say ‘ready, break,’ every player on the team is going off into other stadiums, playing different sports,” Flynn said on Fox News Sunday.

Veteran journalist Bob Woodward echoed Flynn's sentiments, saying "there is no strategy.  They have not sat down and said this is where we want to go and this is how we want to do it.  People from the White House are micromanaging the tactical situation on a daily and weekly basis. That’s not their job." 

A just-released U.N. report detailing acts of ISIS brutality described "several cases of mass executions of boys, as well as reports of beheadings, crucifixions of children and burying children alive."

Buchanan stressed that the only way to defeat ISIS is through an international effort that relies on Middle Eastern nations providing the ground forces necessary to defeat ISIS.  "That coalition should include other Arab nations that have much to lose if ISIS continues its murderous rampage in pursuit of an Islamic Caliphate," Buchanan said.

WSJ Graphic: ISIS Rising Threat