All blogs filed under Terrorism

The President's Address on ISIL

Tonight, the President outlined a comprehensive strategy for the U.S. and a broad coalition to take action against ISIL, a vicious terrorist group that has brutally murdered Americans and threatens our national security interests. I believe it is prudent for the U.S. to take action now to eradicate ISIL.

This effort must be supported by a broad coalition of countries. I welcome the Administration’s efforts, including extensive work by Secretary of State John Kerry, over the past few days and weeks to build a coalition that is committed to fighting ISIL. The Administration will need to continue its work to ensure all coalition members step up to the fight. I have urged the Administration to prioritize efforts to dismantle ISIL’s financial networks. This will help dampen their recruiting efforts and their operational effectiveness over time. I welcome the President’s commitment to ensuring there is an interagency effort to hold accountable those individuals who do business with ISIL in violation of international sanctions.

I also support the President’s commitment to training and equipping the moderate, well vetted Syrian opposition. I have called on the Administration to take more robust measures to support the moderate opposition for several years. Any effort to assist these forces must be well coordinated with other members of the coalition and must include a thorough vetting effort.

Protecting Americans must be our top priority. I will continue to press the Administration to ensure they are working with coalition partners to stem the flow of foreign fighters into Syria. I will also continue to urge the Administration to ensure American personnel at our diplomatic and support facilities in the region have the resources they need to do their jobs effectively and safely.

We should be proud of the American men and women, especially our servicemembers, who are already helping to degrade ISIL Degrading and defeating ISIL will take time and there will be risks, but I support the strategy laid out by the President tonight and will work with my colleagues to ensure the Administration has the necessary resources and authorization to implement it swiftly and effectively.

Foreign Policy

Remembering the Iran Hostage Crisis

Thirty four years ago today, thousands of Iranian protestors broke down the gates of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, took the Americans inside as hostages, and began a 444-day ordeal that no American alive at the time will soon forget.   Again today, Iranian hardliners celebrated this anniversary in Tehran’s streets by burning American flags and chanting anti-American slogans. 

Later this week, the United States and our international partners will meet again with Iranian representatives in Geneva.  I have strongly supported the tough economic sanctions that have brought the Iranian regime to the negotiating table, and I urge the Administration not to back away from these sanctions until Iran translates its rhetoric into concrete and verifiable action.   Previous negotiation efforts have yielded little but additional time for Iran to continue its support of terrorism and expand its nuclear program. 

In honor of those Americans who were taken hostage on November 4, 1979, we must continue to insist that Iran forgo its enrichment program and allow full access for international inspectors.   Their courage and sacrifice those many years ago should prompt us to accept nothing less.

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