Stopping Global Terrorist Threats
In the past year, the terrorist group ISIS has lost a significant amount of ground. However, while it has received some coverage, it’s safe to say that the successes by the United States in helping to reclaim territory from ISIS have not received the attention they deserve. Thanks to our Armed Forces and strong foreign policy outlined by President Trump and General Mattis, the Secretary of Defense, the grip of ISIS on Iraq and Syria has greatly diminished.
In 2014, the rapid expansion of ISIS in Iraq and Syria illustrated the serious threat of this group not only to that region, but also every nation, including the United States, that rejects their brutality and extreme ideology. The organization’s leadership called for attacks on America and the rest of the West. They harnessed the power of the internet to solicit young people to renounce their lives and join them. At its peak, some reports state that as many as 10 million people were living in territory under ISIS control.
When President Trump took office, he followed through on his promise to take quick and decisive action to root out ISIS terrorists. Now, 11 months later, we know that ISIS has lost control of vast swaths of territory and key cities in both Iraq and Syria, including Mosul and Raqqa. Iraqi officials have even declared ISIS “militarily defeated.” While the fight against ISIS is certainly not over, the progress made in the first months of the Trump Administration is significant. The comprehensive plan put forth by our leaders and executed by the U.S.-led international military coalition has done its job, and I applaud their work.
The United States must continue to play a role in monitoring this jihadist terrorist threat across the world. While their control on the ground in Iraq and Syria may have waned, they still have a significant online presence and we must remain vigilant of ISIS-inspired attacks, like those we have seen in New York, the U.K., and Spain in recent months. We also know ISIS affiliates are active in other countries.
Recently, President Trump outlined a new national security strategy aimed at advancing America’s interests. I am encouraged by this plan that sets the course in a positive strategic direction and addresses some of the key challenges facing our country, including confronting global terrorist threats and targeting them at their source. It also recognizes the need to rebuild America’s military and strengthen control of our borders and reform the immigration system so that we can protect our communities, which plays an important role in stopping terrorist threats.
As we reflect on the lessons of the past year and prepare to welcome a new year, I am thankful for America’s bravest – our men and women in uniform – who have helped keep us safe and secure. Thanks to their service, the United States will continue to stand as a beacon of freedom across the globe. I wish you and your family a Happy New Year.