"Tonight President Obama addressed the American people in hopes of gaining support for the fight ahead against ISIS. On the eve on September 11th, many Americans are more afraid than ever about an attack on the homeland. Instead of a vow that he will do whatever it takes to destroy ISIS and protect America, the Presidents finally acknowledged what we have known for months: ISIS is the most severe threat we face today.
How did we get here? President Obama's actions as Commander in Chief have been poll driven, not mission driven. He has been more interested in ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan than winning them. Ending these wars prematurely for political gain instead of listening to the commanders on the ground has led in part to the situation we find ourselves in today. Meanwhile, Islamic radical militant groups like ISIS have emerged and grown in strength from the Syrian civil war. The President's timidity and hesitancy up to this point to recognize and fight this growing enemy has only allowed ISIS to expand from a small group of Islamic militant thugs to a well organized and well funded terrorist threat.
So what now? The President offered a plan that includes chairing a meeting at the United Nations, in hopes of seeking their approval for the course forward. The United States should not wait for UN approval (or disapproval) to protect our own national security. The United States should go destroy ISIS. We should not rely on the United Nations, unknown Syrian rebels with questionable loyalties or the Iraqi military to protect the national security of the United States.
Tonight the President claimed that a core principle of his Presidency has been to hunt down terrorists who threaten Americans. History is recording a different account. So far, he has not consistently taken the fight to the terrorists and as a result our credibility has diminished on the world stage with both our allies and our enemies. Terrorist groups worldwide are stronger than they have ever been. America is in as much danger as it has ever been. From the Benghazi killers to ISIS militants, our enemies desire to kill Americans has been driven by the fact that they no longer fear how we respond. I hope now we will finally prove them wrong. The path forward should be clear: the United States will seek, find, and destroy ISIS and anyone else who threatens our citizens."
Congressman Poe is the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism.