Weekly Columns

As I travel around Arkansas, the top issue I hear about is national security. It remains at the forefront of the minds of Arkansans.

Arkansans are concerned with how the Obama administration’s terrible Iran deal is allowing Tehran to continue its nuclear activities while rebuilding its arsenal and belligerently bullying the United States and our allies. They worry that North Korea is ramping up its nuclear program to try to get the same sweetheart deal. On top of that, the threat from ISIS continues to grow, despite the President’s attempt to convince the public that radical Islamic terror is not a problem.

The President’s misguided policy of appeasement—starting with Iran who recently threatened to shoot down two US Navy aircrafts for flying “too close to its airspace”— is to blame for these concerns.

Iran’s belligerence has been matched by the nation’s pursuit of weapons, all of which has been enabled by President Obama’s nuclear deal. In recent weeks, the regime in Tehran deployed a Russian-supplied surface-to-air missile defense system around its Fordow underground uranium enrichment facility.

This news is shocking given that President Obama said his deal halts enrichment at Fordow. We are supposed to believe that Iran needs this potent missile defense system to protect a scientific facility. Worse yet, Iran got the money for this system because the Obama administration and its negotiating partners agreed "in secret" to allow Iran to evade some restrictions in the nuclear agreement.

Iran continues to get concessions to build a “peaceful” nuclear program that no one outside of the White House believes will remain that way. The world’s rogue actors see it from a different perspective. To them, it’s is a meal ticket. A way out of sanctions, without really having to end the pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Which is why North Korea defied UN resolutions and detonated its fifth—and largest—nuclear weapon earlier this month. After carrying out the test, North Korea boasted that the warhead could be used to counter “the American threat.”

Make no mistake. North Korea wants its own deal and will continue to try to provoke the U.S. Will President Obama cave to North Korea’s demands in the same manner in which he did Iran?

We certainly shouldn’t be granting sanctions relief to North Korea, nor should we be doing so for Iran. In fact, we should be ratcheting up sanctions. We’ve passed legislation to do that for North Korea already and I am supporting and working to move forward a bill to step up sanctions on Iran as well. 

And while Iran and North Korea step up the posturing, ISIS just released a gruesome new propaganda video showing dozens of captured prisoners, hung from meat hooks inside a Syrian slaughterhouse, as ISIS members slit their throats. The brutality of these terrorists, that President Obama once referred to as the JV team, is shocking and revolting.

The President has never presented a strategy to Congress for eliminating ISIS and our sporadic airstrikes have done little to stop the terrorist group from pressing forward and attempting to strengthen its global reach.

As these events play out, Senate Democrats continue to block vital funding for our troops and our country’s security from moving forward.

The anxiety and unease created by this administration’s failed foreign policy weighs heavy on the American people. We must change course.