McConnell to Biden Admin: Stop Second-Guessing Allies, Start Confronting Adversaries

'Around the world, our adversaries are colluding in new and aggressive ways. Authoritarians who disdain the West are arming and underwriting one another’s aggression. And as the Senate continues our work on supplemental national security legislation, we would do well to keep this in mind.’

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding national security priorities:

“Three months after the massacre of October 7th, Israel’s defense minister observed that his country was fighting, ‘an axis, not a single enemy’.

“He was talking about Iran’s terrorist proxies, arrayed to attack Israel on multiple fronts. But the reality of facing interconnected threats isn’t unique to Israel.

“Around the world, our adversaries are colluding in new and aggressive ways.

“Authoritarians who disdain the West are arming and underwriting one another’s aggression. And as the Senate continues our work on supplemental national security legislation, we would do well to keep this in mind.

“Israel reports that it has succeeded in significantly degrading Hamas’ military capacity in northern Gaza. But while the pace of operations may have slowed, Israel continues to face a dug-in Hamas threat in southern Gaza.

“And their terrorist enemies continue to exploit innocent civilians in their bid for survival. Hamas fighters brazenly steal international aid shipments, use Gazans as human shields, and hold more than 130 hostages – including Americans.

“So Israel’s operations will continue, because the threats to Israel remain. As I’ve said before, Israel needs the time, space, and support to restore its security.

“Unfortunately, that’s not what the Biden Administration has been providing. In fact, as the left wing of the Democratic Party grows more loudly and stridently anti-Israel, its leaders are second-guessing America’s closest ally in the Middle East.

“Administration officials have taken to anonymously and shamefully accusing Prime Minister Netanyahu of seeking conflict with Hizballah for domestic political reasons. 

“Of course, reality is quite the opposite. For decades, it’s been Hizballah that seeks conflict with Israel and the West. It is the terrorists with Israeli and American blood on their hands who have chosen violence regardless of the current governments in Israel or the United States.

“And Hizballah’s attacks against Israel have only grown since October 7.  It’s not Prime Minister Netanyahu who forced tens of thousands of Israelis to evacuate their homes in northern Israel. It was Hizballah threats. 

“By now we all know about Hamas’ terror tunnels. Well, Hizballah has built them, too. 

“I led a delegation to Israel and we saw them with our own eyes – efforts to infiltrate northern Israel for the same purpose that Hamas struck in Israel’s south.

“This is not a coincidence. 

“And it’s not a myth conjured by the Prime Minister.  It’s a real and growing threat that even his leading political opponent – and fellow member of Israel’s war cabinet – Benny Gantz also warns about.

“Rather than sniping at Israel’s war cabinet for taking Hizballah seriously, the administration should tell Congress and our ally how it proposes to change the murderous calculus of Iran and its proxy.

“So Mr. President, the best way we can help our friends is to restore our own credibility in the region, and take bolder steps to respond to our common aggressor, Iran.

“The Biden Administration has work to do to repair the damage done by three years of retreat.

“The first thing they could do is admit they have a problem. Instead, they are busy patting themselves on the back. Last week, an Administration spokesperson declared with pride that the President was taking a ‘proactive’ approach to threats from Iran-backed terrorists.

“Honestly, nothing could be further from the truth.

“Instead of aggressively targeting the launch facilities and Houthi terrorists responsible for harassing global shipping and U.S. naval assets or sinking the Iranian spy vessel reportedly facilitating Houthi strikes, President Biden’s passive policy means the Navy is expending million-dollar missiles to swat away thousand-dollar drones.

“Million-dollar missiles to take out thousand-dollar drones, because apparently, we don’t have the nerve to target launch facilities.

“Rather than imposing costs on our enemy, we’re allowing the enemy to impose costs on us.

“In response to more than a hundred attacks on U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria, the President has authorized isolated jabs at low-consequence, peripheral targets.

“No wonder Iran isn’t deterred. Tehran’s strategy is actually working.

“If Hamas’ capacity for violence is not destroyed, Palestinians and Israelis alike – including the hostages still in captivity – are going to continue to suffer.

“If the Houthis’ capacity for violence is left intact, they will continue to attack civilian ships and disrupt the global economy.

“If Iran does not pay a price for its insidious support for terror -- from Israel and across the Middle East to Ukraine – it will continue to underwrite violence and claim innocent lives.

“America owes our ally, Israel, our continued support. And we owe Iran’s web of terror the firm deterrence and swift justice it has always deserved.”


Related Issues: Iran, National Security, Israel