In an interview on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein expressed disagreement with President Barack Obama’s over the current status of the Islamic State.
Last week, Obama said that the terrorist group had been largely “contained.” In the November 16 report, Feinstein suggested that France should invoke Chapter Five of the NATO charter, which would bring the rest of the NATO partners together to fight the Islamic State. Feinstein echoed Republican critics of the president when she said “we certainly need more than 50 special ops” on the ground in Syria to combat the threat.
Moreover, said Feinstein, “I have never been more concerned. I read the intelligence faithfully. ISIL is not contained. ISIL is expanding. They just put out a video saying it is their intent to attack this country. And I think we have to be prepared. I think hopefully France will go for a Chapter 5 which will bring NATO into it. Hopefully we will work with our allies to put together the kind of coalitions and attack plans in more than one place at a given time.”
Among the Republicans who are calling for a greater U.S. military presence in the region is former presidential candidate Mitt Romney. In a "Today Show" interview, Romney said "The fact is, I care about the country. When you run for president, as I have, and you lose, it does not mean you stop caring. I care very deeply, and I'm concerned what the president is doing is not conducive to the country remaining safe," he said.
Romney said that even though Obama has called the Islamic State a cancer, he has not recognized it has become stronger, thus making the world vulnerable to the type of attack seen in France. "It is a cancer that has metastasized much more broadly in the world, and if we don't change our course and take this seriously and go to war with ISIS, we're going to see what happened in Paris happen in the United States," he said.
Another Democrat who expressed disagreement with the Obama line is Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii. In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Gabbard said “we need to temporarily suspend this visa waiver program” between America and Europe. She said that this is because “it could just be a matter of hours, before someone travels through these different borders, someone who’s become a foreign fighter, who’s been fighting in Syria, and ends up here on the United States soil.”
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