Tags: Iraq in Crisis | ISIS/Islamic State | Syria | king | isis | national | interest

Pete King: Fighting ISIS is in Our 'National Interest'

By    |   Sunday, 21 Sep 2014 03:52 PM

The United States should not be "beholden to a coalition" when it comes to attacking the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq because the fight is not for the people in those countries, New York Republican Rep. Pete King said Sunday.

"We can't be beholden to a coalition because we're not doing this out of humanitarian purposes, and quite frankly, we're not doing it for the people of Syria or Iraq," King told "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace. "Ultimately, we're going it because it's in our national interest to do so."

He agrees that if allies can be brought in, "that's fine, and we should work on it," but since attacking ISIS is in the United States' best interest, "we can't be holding back. We should attack and strike and do all we can to the command and control centers that ISIS has in Syria."

Meanwhile, a Democratic New York counterpart, Rep. Adam Schiff, said that he believes it is "very important" that the United States get the support of regional allies in the Middle East, and he believes that support will come, but only in a limited way.

"It will be tempered," he said, and "it's not as if we could say, 'OK, we have their support, we can count on it.' "

Instead, Schiff said the United States will have to keep returning and pressuring allies to do more, including pressuring Turkey to shut its borders to keep jihadists from coming in, while allowing oil revenues to keep going out. Further, he said that more pressure will need to be put on Qatar and Saudi Arabia to cut down on financing ISIS.

But he does think it's significant that Saudi Arabia is willing to openly host training for the battle against ISIS.

"We are getting some meaningful cooperation, but they're not doing it because they love us," said Schiff. "They're doing it because they recognize ISIS is a real threat to them."

King, meanwhile, believes it is a "terrible mistake" to think about allowing Iran to be part of the coalition to defeat ISIS, as it could lead to severe sectarian fights. Further, Iran is the "main threat" in the Middle East, and building the country up could be detrimental to Israel and could weaken the U.S. position on Iran's nuclear capabilities.

Meanwhile, King said he agrees with many military experts that there should be troops on the ground to fight ISIS, pointing out that there are already Special Forces units there "in harms way."

He also does not see how the U.S. can avoid having troops on the ground.

"Don't take anything off the table," said King. "Never let the enemy know what you're going to do or not going to do."

But Schiff said that he agrees with President Barack Obama and some military experts that Iraqi and Peshmerga forces should be on the ground, "not Americans in the combat mission."

Further, he believes Obama will be open to a different strategy, but at the same time Schiff said he wants "a president who is not going to accept everything that the military says uncritically."

"The president's role is obviously different than the military command's role," Schiff said. "If the military command's job to tell the president what they want, it's the president's job to decide what they need, and the president has to bring our country along. That's a tough job."

Meanwhile, Congress approved $500 million to arm and train Syrian Rebels, but Schiff said he believes lawmakers forfeited their constitutional authority by doing so.

"The president has said this is a war. This is going to last years,"Schiff said. However, war is something that only Congress can declare ... Congress should take up an authorization to use force."

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The United States should not be beholden to a coalition when it comes to attacking the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq because the fight is not for the people in those countries, New York Republican Rep. Pete King said Sunday.
king, isis, national, interest
Sunday, 21 Sep 2014 03:52 PM
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