WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Several Republicans have called on President Barack Obama to show “presidential leadership” and lay out a strategy to defeat ISIS in the wake of the videotaped beheading of American journalist James Foley by the militant Islamic group.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., told CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday that a “containment strategy” is not enough, and that President Obama must take steps to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
“A containment strategy is not going to cut it,” Sen. Ayotte – the representative of the Foley family’s home state — told CBS News. “We need a strategy that’s going to expand the airstrikes, support the Kurds further…[and] more support and enhancement for the moderate opposition in Syria to deal with the sanctuaries in Syria. We have to do that if we want to defeat ISIS.”
Such a strategy, “starts with presidential leadership, but as a member of Congress I think we have a responsibility to say that we’re going to put the protection of this nation first beyond partisan divide.”
Ayotte continued: “There’s a disconnect with sequester from the threats we face around the world and the resources we are going to need to fight this threat.”
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., joined his Republican colleague in urging the president to form a strategy to “finish ISIS off.”
“What I want to hear from the president is that he has a strategy to finish ISIS off, to defeat ISIS,” Ryan said. “I don’t want to be an armchair general and tell you how this needs to be done, but I would reference the fact that [Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin] Dempsey did say that to do this correctly that Syria is going to have to be part of this equation.”
Former CIA Deputy Directory Michael Morell told CBS News that ISIS is “the most complex terrorism problem” that he has ever seen.
“There are no magic bullets. This is going to take a long time to get under control,” he said. “We have to take away their safe haven, their territory, that requires a political solution in Iraq which is going to require us to continue to press the Iraqis to do the right thing, our Gulf Arab allies to press the Iraqis to do the right thing, Iran to press the Iraqis to do the right thing, and then we need to get a solution in Syria to take that territory away,” Morell said.
Morell continued: “The other thing we need to do is take the leadership off the battlefield. We need to identify them through intelligence and then either capture or kill them.”