What the next US president intends to do with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria will be one of the deciding questions during the 2016 US Presidential elections. All of the candidates, Republicans and Democrats have their own way of handling things, and different approach. So far, every candidate has declared his views, as US presidential candidates are pressed by the media to answer how they will handle one of the biggest challenges in the next presidential mandate. Here are their views on the matter.
One of the leading democratic presidential candidates, Clinton has no intention of forbidding Muslims enter into the US. In one of the latest debate, Clinton said that the fight against ISIS cannot be “an American fight”. The democratic candidate said she believes that rallying allies and fighting against the “first internet-fueled terrorist group” demands a wider approach.
Some of her ideas how to battle ISIS include no-fly zone, new authorization for the US to use forces in the caliphate region, as well as support for local troops. Many of the experts in the US believe that Clinton is showing strong authority, and seems more determined in her attack on ISIS. Clinton is one of the three candidates, along with Sanders and O’Malley who do not use the term “Radical Islam” and similar phrases.
Clinton, however, is certain that ISIS should not be associated with Muslims, and that turning away orphans, discriminating Muslims and applying a religious test is not the American way. Clinton will not slam the door on Syrian refugees, which might make her soft in the eyes of the public.
Sanders is the only US presidential candidate that openly asks the Arab Countries such as Saudi Arabia to lead the charge against ISIS. In one of his interviews, Saunders said “I’ll dammed if the U.S. leads the fight against ISIS and Americans are sent back to never-ending quagmires”.
Many experts in the US believe that Sanders has the winning formula for battling ISIS and his experience (74 years) make him the ideal candidate with the grasp and understanding of the challenge. Sanders has said over and over that the US needs to be “tough but not stupid”. Sanders would also accept Syrian refugees into the country, as he is one of the three candidates with similar views, along with Clinton and O’Malley. Sanders has warned fellow Republican governors that the country does not need Islamophobia at the moment. Sanders is determined that there is no need for “no-fly” zone.
Probably the most vicious in the plan to destroy ISIS among US presidential candidates is Donald Trump. The billionaire has stated that “He would bomb the shit out of them” and “He would take away their oil”. Trump is also determined not to allow any more Syrian refugees into the country, stating that those refugees are probably part of ISIS. In one of his statements, Trump has said “There are so many young men and they are very strong. Where are the women and children”, posing an argument against Syrian refugees. Muslims in the United States have already protested few times during Trump’s speeches.
Among the candidates, Trump has a clear idea that US troops should be sent to the ground for attack on ISIS, but he is unclear on the state of no-fly zone and whether NATO should invoke Article 5.
Cruz is one of the few presidential candidates that are openly saying that the country should declare war on ISIS. Ted is going even a step further, saying that the US is already in War with the Islamic State. The Texas senator criticized Obama after the Paris attacks, saying that the US has a president that doesn’t recognize who the enemy is and that the country is in an open war. The senator also wants the congress to ban Muslims from coming back to America using US passports. Cruz is one of the select republican candidates who would still accept Syrian refugees, but not all of them.
His strategy for defeating ISIS is simple, air strike on the caliphate and helping the Curds with weapons and support. Calling for border security a top priority is one of the key aspects of Cruz’s strategy against ISIS. What is more interesting is that Cruz believes that the US can destroy ISIS in just 90 days by bombing the hell out of them. His strategy, however, doesn’t include a solution for the Syrian question and Civil War. According to Cruz, the US should worry about destroying ISIS, not solving problems on the ground and is indifferent to the politics of Iraq.
Paul is one of the few presidential candidates who believe that there should not be a no-fly zone, and the only one who is pushing for invoking NATO Article 5. However, Paul’s strategy is that bombing and sending people on the ground in Syria and Iraq is not the solution for fighting ISIS, as the move might bankrupt the US. His careful and pragmatic approach and response to ISIS hasn’t won him much support, but it might be one of the best approaches.
However, Paul is probably the only US presidential candidate who fully grasps that ISIS and jihadism are more anti-American than Muslim. Paul believes that American foreign policy is responsible for Muslim jihadists.
One of the interesting views on ISIS comes from US Presidential candidate Martin O’Malley, who believes that climate change is responsible for the formation and creation of the Islamic state. In a way to get some attention, O’Malley said that the mega-drought that affected the region and preceded the ISIS foundation is to be blamed. The drought wiped out farmers, and drove people to the cities, creating a crisis that the created the conditions of extreme poverty that has eventually resulted in the Islamic state caliphate.
And while Martin recognizes the symptoms, he is unclear and undetermined in the way that the US should battle ISIS. According to O’Malley, one of the ways the US could battle ISIS is to send special forces on the ground and declare war on the caliphate. O’Malley would continue to accept Syrian refugees, and is against instituting a no-fly zone.
Carson has a plan to send the special forces to the ground, and make the ISIS look like losers. According to the presidential candidate, one of the reasons ISIS is successful is that they manage to look like the winners in the big game, and recruit even more jihadists. One way to counter that is to send special forces on the ground, and hit ISIS where they are weaker. The candidate believes that place should be Iraq, where there is a big energy field. Carson has talked to several generals, and he believes that the US could easily take out the energy field of ISIS, and make them look like the losers of the global war. He is determined not to accept any more Syrian refugees, and institute a no-fly zone.
Jeremy Scahill is one of the best reporters in the United States. He is the founding editor of The Intercept, an online news publication, and author of some of the best US mi...