McCain: ISIS 'Must Be Defeated, Not Contained'

Sunday, 31 Aug 2014 12:10 PM

By Greg Richter

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Republicans pushed for a tougher stance against ISIS on Sunday, with Arizona Sen. John McCain saying, "They must be defeated, not contained."

McCain appeared on "Face the Nation,"along with New York Rep. Peter King, urging swift action in Iraq and Syria before ISIS gets even more powerful.

Story continues below video.

McCain wants to get better weapons to Kurdish fighters and arm the Free Syrian Army as well as hit ISIS in Syria with airstrikes.

"One of the biggest mistakes ever made … in recent times was the president's overruling his entire national security team, including the secretary of State," when they argued for providing weapons for the Free Syrian Army, McCain said. "That was a seminal moment."

ISIS is a "direct threat" to the United States, he said, calling for more advisers and special forces. He was quick to add that he doesn't want American troops on the ground.

Iraqis will fight, McCain said, but the United States must state clear goals, unlike in Syria, when Obama threatened President Bashar al-Assad with airstrikes if he used chemical weapons, then reversed himself.

Democratic Rep. Adam Smith of Washington told guest host Major Garrett the United States should build a coalition rather than going it alone. Otherwise, he said, "we run the risk of running Sunnis into their camp."

Smith was reluctant to call for bombing in Syria since he said no evidence exists that ISIS is plotting attacks on America as al-Qaida was before 9/11.

King agreed with Smith on the need for a coalition, but argued that ISIS is indeed plotting against America.

"What is President Obama waiting for?" King asked. "We can't wait forever. And the longer we do wait, the stronger ISIS becomes, more people are massacred and the more America and Britain become at risk."

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