As ISIS continues to gain strength, with the number of foreign fighters traveling to Syria to fight for the terror army doubling in the past 18 months, top military brass and politicians on Capitol Hill have roundly criticized President Obama's strategy to defeat or "contain" them.
Just weeks before ISIS marched across Iraq to take major cities Mosul and Ramadi, Obama called them the "jayvee team." Just hours before the worst terror attack in Paris since World War II, Obama said ISIS was "contained." Just days before the ISIS inspired attack in San Bernardino, California, President Obama said the group didn't pose a threat to the homeland.
Now, Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill are demanding the President deliver a coherent strategy about how to defeat ISIS and newly minted House Speaker Paul Ryan is leading the way by forcing Obama into a corner on the issue.
"Yesterday, the House overwhelmingly passed bipartisan legislation to strengthen the Visa Waiver Program, which will help prevent foreign terrorists from reaching our shores. But while the House continues to take steps to keep Americans safe, the White House continues to face questions about its plan to defeat ISIS—or lack of one—even from the most unlikely corners," Ryan's office sent out Wednesday. "No wonder so many Democrats voted with Republicans over the president’s veto threat for a bill requiring him to present a comprehensive strategy to eliminate ISIS. The administration needs to stop playing politics with our national security and finally get serious about defeating—not containing—radical Islamic terrorism."
Democrat Reps. Steve Israel, Adam Schiff and Senators Dianne Feinstein, Bill Nelson and many others have not only expressed concern, but alarm over President Obama's lack of strategy and naive rhetoric on the threat of Islamic terrorism to Americans and the world.
In a time when extreme partisanship is the norm, Speaker Ryan has managed to back President Obama into a corner using members of his own Democrat party on this issue. Further, Ryan has been able to do so on an issue that is a top concern of the American people.
Terrorism suddenly rivals the economy as the single most important issue to Americans in the 2016 presidential election -- and a year out, a new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds more people paying close attention to the contest than at this point in any race back to 1988.
After years of dominating the political landscape, the economy now has company. Given the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris, 28 percent of Americans now call terrorism the top issue in their choice for president, compared with 33 percent who cite the economy. Nothing else comes close.