Weekly Columns

The federal government’s number one responsibility is to protect the American people. 

As the Obama Administration approaches its final months, the American people still do not feel, with any degree of confidence, that Washington is taking the proper steps to carry out that responsibility.

The Islamic State (ISIS)—a terrorist organization that President Obama once dubbed the “jayvee team”—has become a clear and serious threat during his watch, largely because he has failed to present and carry out a strategy to defeat it.

That is just one of the many failures of this administration’s foreign policy which is rooted in wishful thinking, rather than grounded in reality.

The idea that we can wish away the threats our nation faces by passively withdrawing from the international stage is a dangerous approach.

It is this mentality that the President and his aides use to justify not calling jihadi attacks what they are—radical Islamic terrorism. The President has convinced himself that this threat will be neutralized if we just call it something else. Clearly this is not true.

It is how we ended up with a deal that does nothing to prevent Iran from going nuclear but instead emboldens it to belligerently threaten the U.S., our allies like Israel and its neighboring Arab states.

And it’s the same mindset that thinks closing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay (Gitmo) and moving dangerous terrorists to U.S. soil is the right thing to do.

On this last point specifically, the Senate has a chance to correct course away from the dangerous path that President Obama’s policies are leading us by passing the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Once again, we have inserted language into the bill that will ensure Gitmo remains open. We have done this in previous versions of the NDAA that have been signed into law by President Obama. Yet the President is once again threatening to veto this bill in part due to the language that prevents closure of the facility.

We shouldn’t be moving dangerous terrorists out of Gitmo. If anything, we should be moving more terrorists into Gitmo.

The state-of-the-art facility is more than serving its purpose for detaining the worst of the worst, obtaining valuable intelligence from them and keeping these terrorists who are bent on destroying America from returning to the battlefield.

A recent report from the Washington Post indicates that the Obama Administration has evidence that about a dozen detainees released from Gitmo have launched attacks against U.S. or allied forces in Afghanistan that have resulted in American deaths.

As the threat posed by ISIS grows, Gitmo remains the only option to house these terrorists. Any facility on U.S. soil is not an option. It never was with al-Qaeda terrorists, nor can it be with ISIS terrorists.

We need to fix the problems created by the Obama Administration’s failures to restore the confidence of the American people.

That means it is time to stop chasing diplomacy to the point where it puts the safety of the American people at risk, to the point where any leverage the U.S. started with is gone, and to the point where we withdraw from conflicts with enemies because it’s easier to allow someone else to fight the battle.

It’s time for America to lead again. Passage of the NDAA will be a good step in the right direction.