Hillary Clinton has a real plan to defeat ISIS and prevent another attack like Brussels. Here’s how.
“If Mr. Trump gets his way, it will be like Christmas in the Kremlin.”
Recent attacks in Brussels, Paris, and San Bernardino have been a horrifying reminder that the fight against ISIS and radical jihadist terrorism is far from over. Keeping us safe at home and defeating ISIS and global terrorism abroad are going to be some of the biggest challenges facing our next Commander-in-Chief. And that’s why we need to elect a president who’s prepared to do all parts of the job from day one.
Hillary Clinton has a plan to defeat ISIS and the global terrorist movement—and she’s shared her vision for the role that America and our allies must play in the fight against terrorism around the world. Here’s what you need to know.
1. The threat of terrorism knows no borders—and we aren’t going to stop it with a wall.
In the past year alone, terrorists have attacked transportation hubs in Brussels, a nightclub and restaurants in Paris, a office holiday party in San Bernardino, a hotel in West Africa, a beach resort in Tunisia, a market in Lebanon, a Russian passenger jet in the Sinai—and too many other places. The threat of terrorism in the 21st century is real, urgent, and borderless.
As Hillary said, “Walls won’t protect us from this threat. We can’t contain ISIS—we must defeat ISIS.”
2. ISIS and terrorist groups like them are constantly adapting and operating across multiple spaces, so our response needs to be just as nimble and far-reaching.
Today, ISIS controls a sizable (yet shrinking) territory in Iraq and Syria—but it also leads a wider network that reaches across the Middle East and North Africa and into Europe, Asia, and North America and includes other terrorist groups. To win the war against global terrorism, Hillary argued that we have to do battle on each of these fronts.
And she has a plan to do that:
Hillary’s plan calls for taking out ISIS’s stronghold in Iraq and Syria by intensifying the current air campaign, stepping up support for local forces on the ground, and pursuing a diplomatic strategy to resolve Syria’s civil war and Iraq’s sectarian conflict between Sunnis and Shias—both of which have contributed to the rise of ISIS.
But we also have to dismantle the global terror network that supplies money, arms, propaganda, and fighters. That doesn’t just mean going after enablers who help jihadist terrorists with things like travel and document forgery—it also means denying them virtual territory by discrediting their ideology online and stopping their digital recruitment strategies.
And hardening our defenses and building our resilience at home will help us discover and disrupt plots before they’re carried out. That requires an intelligence surge, including partnering with Silicon Valley to track and analyze ISIS’s social media posts and map jihadist networks online. As Hillary said, “The tech community and the government have to stop seeing each other as adversaries and start working together to protect our safety and our privacy.”
3. Our alliances have been core pillars of American power for decades. They should be reinforced, not abandoned.
America’s alliances make us stronger. Hillary argued that turning our back on our European allies who are on the front lines of the war on terror would be dangerous and foolish, and it would send the wrong signal to our friends and our foes. “Putin already hopes to divide Europe,” Hilary said. “If Mr. Trump gets his way, it will be like Christmas in the Kremlin. It will make America less safe and the world more dangerous.”
What Republicans like Trump don’t understand is that we need Europe. We need European intelligence and diplomacy, European banks fighting terrorist financing, European aircraft flying missions in the Middle East, and European special forces helping train and equip local forces fighting ISIS.
In fact, we need Europe to do more—and that’s why Hillary called on our European partners to take more steps to stop the flow of foreign fighters to and from the Middle East. Knowing the identities of every fighter with a European passport who makes the trip, revoking passports and visas, and sharing information in real time is essential in this fight. So is a commitment by countries like Belgium to identify and invest in the neighborhoods, prisons, and schools where terrorist recruitment happens.
4. Despite what Republican candidates for president say, we need to rely on what actually works—not on what makes a catchy sound bite or riles up the base.
Take it from our nation’s former chief diplomat: Bluster doesn’t work—we can’t just “carpet bomb” populated areas “into oblivion,” as Ted Cruz has suggested. Bigotry is also an unacceptable response: Hillary pointed out that it’s just as dangerous to promote offensive, inflammatory rhetoric that demonizes all Muslims—the very people who are most likely to recognize the warning signs of radicalization before it’s too late and who are in the best position to block it. And torture—a tactic promoted by Donald Trump—puts our troops and civilians at greater risk. That’s why Hillary pledged that if she’s elected president, she will never condone or practice torture anywhere in the world.
So what does work? Smart, strong, steady leadership from the United States. As Hillary said, “No other country can rally allies and partners to defeat ISIS and win the generational struggle against radical jihadist terrorism. Only the United States can mobilize common action on a global scale in defense of our peoples and our values. And that’s exactly what we need to do.”