AUSTIN, Texas — The question of how best to address the threat from the terrorist group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, (sometimes referred to as ISIL, or the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant) was a hot topic between the two candidates to represent Texas in the United States Senate this week at an editorial board interview with the Dallas Morning News. Both candidates said they were in favor of the airstrikes that President Obama had ordered. The Republican incumbent, Senator John Cornyn supported keeping other options open, including the potential use of ground troops, a tactic opposed by his Democrat challenger, David Alameel.
“All the president’s military advisers have said you cannot win this without boots on the ground,” said Cornyn, to support his position of not ruling out sending ground troops to the area. As the Morning News reported, ISIS may have more than 30,000 fighters, and has killed thousands of civilians as it has gained control over large areas of Iraq and Syria. ISIS has also been named as the group responsible for beheading several Western journalists they had taken hostage.
In contrast, Alameel rejected the idea of sending ground troops as “Republican warmongering,” telling the editorial board that he feared America would be starting “another Iraq War.” He also voiced opposition to plans to equip and train moderate Syrian rebels, even though this is currently supported by President Obama.
Additionally, Alameel stated his belief that the different religious groups in the area — Sunni, Shiite, Christian, Kurds, and Jews — “cannot coexist together,” advocating that “many of these ethnic groups are eventually going to have to have their own countries.” The Morning News noted that Alameel did not explain how he would propose dividing territory among groups that currently share it, or specific what the exact role of the United States should be in this redrawing of the map lines.
Cornyn has been very outspoken in recent weeks on the topic of how to respond to the ISIS threat, issuing several public statements within the past month and delivering a speech from the Senate floor on September 9, 2014 urging the president to work closely in “true collaboration and consultation with all members of Congress” to obtain Congressional approval for any military action and to “offer a clear explanation of our military objectives and our strategic objectives” to the American people.
Watch Senator Cornyn’s September 9, 2014 floor speech.
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