McConnell Previews President’s Speech
‘The President has the opportunity tonight to tell the American people how he is willing to adapt to the threat and how he can better prepare our nation for a fight that will inevitably be passed on to his successor.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following statement in advance of the President’s speech to the nation:
“As we approach the last year of President Obama's term, Americans understand that the terrorist threat has evolved but not vanished—and it has certainly not been ‘contained.’ Whether ISIL terrorists are training in camps in Syria or using online magazines to instruct and inspire lone wolves, they represent a serious threat to this country and now is the time to prepare our nation for defeating ISIL abroad in order to protect Americans at home. The President has the opportunity tonight to tell the American people how he is willing to adapt to the threat and how he can better prepare our nation for a fight that will inevitably be passed on to his successor.
“He should tell us what legal authorities he needs to defeat encrypted online communications, and what is needed to reestablish our capture, interrogation, and surveillance capabilities. He should tell us how the coalition or NATO will forge a ground force capable of not just attempting to ‘contain’ ISIL within its interior lines in Iraq and Syria — even as the group expands its reach into other countries — but actually driving it from Raqqa. He should tell us the force structure and funding our commanders will need to rebuild so we can continue and expand this fight while facing other threats around the globe. And he should explain why he won’t use the secure facility at Guantanamo Bay to safely hold and interrogate newly captured terrorists in order to help prevent the next plot against innocent Americans.
“If he does these things, it will show that he has learned in office and cast off old campaign promises in favor of serious solutions to protect Americans at home and our allies abroad, and it will show that he is committed to leaving our nation better prepared for his successor.”
Related Issues: Syria, War on Terror, National Security, ISIL