Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., sounded off against President Obama’s decision to launch multiple air strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) on Sunday, calling it “ineffective” and “narrow.”
“The president made it clear that this was to avert the humanitarian crisis, that they were taking these actions to protect American military personnel that are in Erbil and in Baghdad,” McCain said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “That’s not a strategy. That’s not a policy. That is simply a very narrow and focused approach to a problem which is metastasizing as we speak.”
Instead, the Arizona Republican said the military mission needs to go even further, as ISIS threatens U.S. national security. McCain told host Candy Crowley if he were in charge, he would be sending equipment to Erbil and the Kurds, launching airstrikes in both Iraq and Syria against ISIS, and giving assistance to the Free Syrian Army.
Fellow Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, S.C., echoed McCain’s concerns about ISIS during an interview on “Fox News Sunday” with host Chris Wallace. The South Carolina Republican said President Obama is “trying to avoid a bad news story on his watch” and warned that the U.S. needs to “go on offense” because of the growing threat ISIS poses to national security.
“If [Obama] does not go on the offensive against ISIS, ISIL, whatever you want to call these guys, they are coming here,” Graham said. “This is just not about Baghdad, this is just not about Syria, this is about our homeland. And if we get attacked because he has no strategy to protect us, than he will have committed a blunder for the ages.”
In an effort to stop ISIS’ advancing threat against Erbil, the Kurdistan regional capital, Obama ordered a series of airstrikes against the militants late last week and into the weekend. President Obama also ordered humanitarian airdrops to help Iraqis who are facing ISIS fighters.