President Barack Obama’s "strategy" to combat ISIS in the Middle East appears to be more of a non-starter than an effective plan, Republican U.S. Rep. Ted Poe of Texas said Thursday on Newsmax TV’s
"The president said there was a strategy,
" said Poe, a former judge who sits on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. "I'm not sure what that strategy is other than he said what we were not going to do, no boots on the ground. Apparently, the thinks that we should go to the United Nations and get their help and other countries. He wants to arm the Syrian rebels and also rearm the Iraqi military other than airstrikes."
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While Poe thinks the president should seek congressional approval to go to war, he balked at first getting other nations' permission.
"It's Congress' responsibility to decide whether the nation goes to war or not. You can call it what you want, but it's a war against ISIS," Poe said. "The president was somewhat timid, in my opinion. The goal should be: what is the national security interest of the United States, not Iraq, not Syria, not Saudi Arabia, but the United States.
"If it's the national security interest of the United States to destroy ISIS, then that should be our strategy. If the UN wants to approve or disapprove that's fine, but we're not waiting on them. We don't need to wait on other countries. We shouldn't put our national security interest in the hands of the Syrian rebels. We shouldn't expect the Iraqis to take care of business because when they were first confronted with ISIS they dropped American weapons and took off running. Focus on what our national security interest is and use the effort to find them, dig them out, and eliminate them permanently."
Poe supports legislation that will revoke citizenship from Americans who travel to the Middle East and join ISIS.
"Americans who have gone to the Middle East and have joined ISIS, the Benedict Arnolds of this country, they are not welcome back into the United States," he said. "Revoke their passports, don't let them back into the United States. That's the legislation."
Poe chided officials who criticized him recently for saying that Islamic terrorists can enter the United States at the southern border
"The Pentagon and others said that is not true," he recalled. "Now a month later they are agreeing that if ISIS wants to come in here, the best way is to work with the drug cartels and get them into the United States. It's a national security interest to protect the southern borders. It's not an immigration issue, it's a national security interest. The people are waking up to that threat that we have on our southern border."
America, he said, needs to be focused on protecting its borders and citizens and less concerned with providing border security in the Middle East.
"It's unfortunate that our government is more concerned about protecting the national security borders of Third World countries than it is protecting our own," said Poe. "The No. 1 job of government is to protect America. That's their job. Our government protects other countries and not our own. It's time we get back and take care of America first."
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