The President’s failed legacy of worldwide instability has led to a dangerous world for American families. We need a strategy of peace through strength—not one of absentee leadership, broken promises, and abandonment of allies.
Our enemies are growing increasingly bold. Just weeks ago, the dangerous dictatorship in North Korea successfully tested a missile that could reach the West Coast of the United States, after years of testing nuclear weapons. The majority of these nuclear tests have been under President Obama’s Administration. Each time, the tyrannical regime in North Korea has gone unimpeded, leading to greater aggression towards our allies.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is growing more dangerous—in recent months they have attacked our allies in Turkey and France and have threatened American families here at home. Last week James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, revealed that ISIL has used chemical and biological weapons in Iraq and Syria against the Kurds, a strong ally of the United States. I have no doubt that the Islamic State would use these weapons to kill American families.
I believe we need a genuine plan to defeat ISIL. According to the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (passed by Congress, signed into law by the President) the President was required to submit a strategy for the Middle East and countering violent extremism by February 15, 2016. The deadline has come and gone and the President has not submitted a plan to Congress or to the American people. Our troops deserve a clear mission to defeat the enemy—not empty rhetoric.
I am grateful that House Republicans are taking meaningful action to protect our troops and American families. Last week, the House passed the North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act, bi-partisan legislation, supported by Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot Engle (D-NY), imposes sanctions against North Korean officials who engage in the trade of nuclear materials or conventional weapons. While we still must do more, this bill is an important first step to show the regime in North Korea that their aggression will not go unchecked.
As Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, I have worked to enact positive change in our national defense and have led recent hearings on our nation’s strategy against chemical and biological threats. I also participated in the House Armed Services Committee hearing on U.S. strategies on understanding and deterring Russia. This critical hearing gave me the opportunity to question Administration officials and leaders in the field about Russia’s growing involvement in the Middle East—specifically Syria—and the new challenges where the President’s failed polices, ignoring a red line led to ISIL and refugees fleeing resulting in children drowning at sea.
We have to be clear in Congress and across the U.S. about what is needed to protect our military and American families from another terrorist attack, whether from a rogue regime or terrorists. We will continue to work for a positive strategy of peace through strength, eliminating terrorist safehavens abroad—the best way to protect American families at home.