Tags: America's Forum | Barack Obama | Exclusive Interviews | Iraq | Iraq in Crisis | ISIS/Islamic State | War on Terrorism

Pete Hoekstra: Obama Must Act on ISIS, With or Without Congress

By    |   Monday, 08 September 2014 10:23 AM

President Barack Obama needs to decide on a strategy to fight ISIS and swiftly begin executing it, with or without Congress, former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Pete Hoekstra said Monday on "America’s Forum."

"This is all about keeping America safe," he said on Newsmax TV. "Don't worry about Congress passing a resolution of support and authorizing the president to act. We know what the threat is.

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"It is imperative, though, that the president develop a long-term bipartisan strategy not only to deal with the threat from ISIS, but this whole thing about this is a new threat – no, this threat has been with us for more than 20 years, the threat from radical Islam. The president should've developed a long-term strategy, a bipartisan strategy that would've sustained us through this new level from ISIS and other threats coming from the radical jihadist world. President, act when you need to act. Don't wait for Congress."

Obama is scheduled to deliver a speech Wednesday, on the eve of  the 9/11 anniversary, announcing a strategy to defeat ISIS.

Former CIA analyst Fred Fleitz, joining Hoekstra on Newsmax TV, said the fight against ISIS is aggravated by the fact that the terror group possesses American equipment and munitions, perhaps even drones.

"A private group has looked at captured weapons that ISIS has been using on the battlefield," Fleitz said. "They found a surprisingly large number of U.S. weapons that were not necessarily provided directly by us to the Syrian rebels, but maybe the Saudis or by Qatar. This is raising real concerns about strategies to try to arm the Syrian rebels formally. The idea that ISIS has drones is a very disturbing prospect. It would allow them to conduct attacks against Western targets, which would be very hard to defend against."

This year’s 9/11 anniversary poses the "most significant threat" to the United States since the 2001 attacks, Hoekstra said.

"Take a look at everything that's going on," he said. "You've got two competing radical jihadist groups competing for attention, resources, and recruits: al-Qaida and ISIS. You have the United States with the stepped-up bombing campaign in Iraq. You have NATO reaching a conclusion and a recommendation to move forward to attack ISIS, and you've got the president making a speech to the American people on the eve of 9/11, 2014.

"It's a very, very ugly environment, and I'm sure that our intelligence, military, and our domestic law enforcement are on the highest level of alerts to try to keep us safe."

The likely nexus between ISIS’s alleged social media mastermind to a Boston mosque — the same one attended by Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnev — is not surprising, Fleitz said.

"We know that ISIS has a fairly sophisticated presence on the Internet and they seem to know social media," he said. "It's very likely they're Americans or British, and they know how to reach out to the English-speaking world to advance their propaganda."

While it has been reported that ISIS is disappointed in the lack of ruthlessness shown by its Western recruits, they will continue to accept them, Fleitz said.

"It's a surprising revelation, but I still don't think ISIS is going to reject foreign recruits," Fleitz said. "They want these foreign recruits because once they get radicalized and fight in Syria or Iraq, they're hoping they'll go back to the United States and launch terrorist attacks there."

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President Barack Obama needs to decide on a strategy to fight ISIS and swiftly begin executing it, with or without Congress, former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Pete Hoekstra said Monday on "America's Forum."
Pete Hoekstra, ISIS, Obama, 911
Monday, 08 September 2014 10:23 AM
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