Murkowski: Action Without a Plan Is Not Effective Foreign Policy

Senator Responds to President Obama’s Remarks on ISIS Threat

Senator Lisa Murkowski tonight responded to President Barack Obama’s national remarks explaining his thoughts on dealing with the Islamic State:

“Like all Americans, I am extremely concerned with the rapid growth of ISIS and the threat this barbaric group poses to Americans abroad, at home, and our allies around the world.

“President Obama recently inadvertently admitted what many Alaskans already knew: that he did not have a strategy to protect Americans against the spread of violent Islamic extremism like that posed by ISIS. Tonight, he attempted to convince us otherwise by introducing a broad strategy and a few near-term actions.  Instead, I believe we still need a comprehensive plan for the region and our role including a well-defined mission and clear objectives.

“Action without a defined plan is not effective or sustainable foreign policy – and it makes attracting a coalition of allies more difficult.

“Make no mistake, this is a highly complex situation and there are no easy answers to combat not only ISIS, but the plague of violent Islamic extremism across the globe.  But President Obama owes Americans more than he offered us tonight: we need to know what constitutes ‘victory’ and what benchmarks we will use to measure accomplishments as the activities are conducted.  Before we can attract support from our allies in the international community, we must define terms and goals more concretely.

“President Obama also needs to acknowledge he must sit down with Congress and not simply suggest his plan represents the final say on the matter. He did not spell out precisely what he is seeking from Congress in tonight’s address.  Further, we need a plan to involve the key stakeholders in the Gulf region and our allies around the world to ensure a global effort against this face of evil.  The neighboring countries and others have just as much at stake in this fight as any nation or culture in the world, and they need to be a core part of the solution and the endgame to create a world environment truly hostile to this movement.

“I watched the speech and heard his four objectives and found myself thinking to some ‘haven’t we already been doing this?’ and to others ‘how will this work?’  America and the international community needs more clarity than tonight’s remarks provided.

“We owe such careful consideration to our brave men and women in uniform before putting them into harm’s way. It’s time to step up our leadership and work together to determine the best strategy for our nation to combat this imminent threat.”