Mitt Romney is calling for the West to stop the "insanity" of accepting refugees from the Middle East — particularly young men — and for the United States to wage war on the Islamic State to "eradicate it once and for all."
In a commentary in The Washington Post
, the former governor of Massachusetts charges ISIS is "a cancer that metastasized" on President Barack Obama's watch.
"We must wage the war to defeat the enemy, not merely to harass it," Romney writes.
"For over a year, the president has clung to the hope that an air campaign is sufficient. It demonstrably is not. He must call in the best military minds from the United States and NATO, actually listen to what they have to say and finally construct a comprehensive strategy that integrates our effort with the Kurds, Turks, Saudis, Egyptians and Jordanians."
But in the meantime, he argues, the flood of refugees from the war-torn Middle East must be stemmed.
"The West must stop the insanity of welcoming hundreds of thousands of people from the Middle East without knowing who exactly they are," he writes. "Women, children and the elderly, perhaps, but not thousands upon thousands of single young men."
The call comes as authorities confirm the holder of a Syrian passport found near the body of one of the Paris gunmen in the Friday night attacks in the city was registered as a refugee
in several European countries last month.
"Only America can lead this war, and that leadership means being willing to devote whatever resources are required to win — even boots on the ground," Romney writes.
"We have the best-equipped and most dedicated military for good reason. The president must stop trying to placate his political base by saying what he won't do and tell Americans what he will do. We must do what it takes."
Romney also blasted Obama's pre-strike assertion, that the advance of the jihadists had been "contained,"
as clearly proven wrong.
"It's time the president stopped hedging and took meaningful steps to defend us and our allies," he writes, adding it's time to "secure the safety of our homeland and preserve our democratic values. Now is the time, not merely to contain the Islamic State, but to eradicate it once and for all."
Romney says the job must begin "by identifying the enemy."
"We will not defeat it if we are afraid to call it by its name," he writes. "These heinous acts of terror are waged by radical Islamists: jihadists. And the Islamic State represents the branch of this ideology that currently poses the greatest threat. Islam is not the enemy, but the enemy lives within Islam. Accordingly, the broader Islamic world will play a critical role in this war."
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