Dueling Campaigns: Candidates Describe Their Plan to Defeat ISIS, Keep Americans Safe

 Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton clash in the second presidential debate © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton clash in the second presidential debate © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

In the second debate, Donald Trump answered the first question, ‘Are you both modeling positive and appropriate behaviors for today’s youth?’ by attacking Hillary Clinton and saying, “I will knock the hell out of ISIS. We are going to defeat ISIS. ISIS happened a number of years ago in a vacuum that was left because of bad judgment. And I will tell you, I will take care of ISIS.” 

Here is what the presidential candidates offer as their plan to defeat ISIS, as provided by their respective campaigns:

Hillary Clinton Has A Plan To Defeat ISIS, Keep Americans Safe

“The threat we face from terrorism is real, urgent, and knows no boundaries. Hillary Clinton knows that ISIS cannot be contained, it must be defeated.  Doing so takes more than empty talk and a handful of slogans. It takes a real plan, real experience, and real leadership. Donald Trump lacks all three. He won’t even say what his plan to defeat ISIS is,” the Hillary for America campaign stated.

Hillary Clinton has laid out a comprehensive plan to defeat ISIS and keep Americans safe at home.  She understands that it’s not enough just to take out specific groups or leaders – we must have a comprehensive strategy to win the long game against the global terrorist network and its ideology.

  • First, we need to protect our homeland, including by surging our intelligence to ensure law enforcement has the information they need to detect and disrupt plots, working with Silicon Valley to shut down terrorist propaganda and disrupt their recruitment efforts online, and keeping guns out of the hands of suspected terrorists.  Hillary has also proposed establishing a “lone wolf” task force to identify and stop radicalized individuals who may or may not have contact and direction from any formal organization.
  • Second, we need to lash up with our allies to dismantle the global network that supplies money, arms, propaganda and fighters to the terrorists.  This means targeted efforts to root out ISIS hubs and affiliates and preventing terrorist organizations from establishing hubs elsewhere, choking off the networks that facilitate their growth and expansion.
  • Third, we have to take the terrorists plotting against us off the battlefield. Hillary was in the Situation Room as we set out a strategy to eliminate dozens of seniors leaders of al-Qaeda. Now, we have to do the same thing to ISIS, starting with the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. And we need to take out ISIS’s strongholds in the Middle East by intensifying the coalition air campaign, supporting our partners on the ground, and pursuing diplomacy to end Syria’s civil war and close Iraq’s sectarian divide, because those conflicts are keeping ISIS alive.

As we do all of this, we cannot allow terrorists to intimidate us into abandoning our values or allowing us to be driven by fear to embrace policies that would actually make us less safe.  Hillary knows that all communities need to be engaged in the fight against ISIS.  As the Director of the FBI told Congress recently, anything that erodes trust with Muslim-Americans makes the job of law enforcement more difficult.  American Muslims are on the front lines of efforts to combat radicalization, and we need to increase trust and cooperation with law enforcement.  Since 9/11, law enforcement agencies have worked hard to build relationships with Muslim-American communities. They are the most likely to recognize the insidious effects of radicalization before it’s too late, and the best positioned to help us block it. Hillary knows we should be intensifying contacts in those communities, not scapegoating or isolating them. And as we engage in this fight, we will be stronger with our allies and partners standing with us, particularly in the Muslim world, as we cannot win this fight alone.

Donald Trump’s Plan to Defeat ISIS and Make America Safe Again

Mr. Trump’s Plan To Defeat ISIS Will:

  • Work with our Arab allies and friends in the Middle East so they can lead the fight against the Islamic State
  • Aggressively pursue joint and coalition military operations to crush and destroy ISIS, coordinate international cooperation to cutoff their funding, expand intelligence sharing, and engage in cyberwarfare to disrupt and disable their propaganda and recruiting
  • Defeat the ideology of radical Islamic terrorism, just as we did in order to win the Cold War.

New screening procedures and enforcement of our immigration laws will:

  • Temporarily suspend immigration from some of the most dangerous and volatile regions of the world that have a history of exporting terrorism.
  • Establish a Commission on Radical Islam to identify and explain to the American public the core convictions and beliefs of Radical Islam, to identify the warning signs of radicalization, and to expose the networks in our society that support radicalization.

Mr. Trump’s Plan To Make America Respected And Safe Again

Peace through strength will be at the center of our foreign policy. We will achieve a stable, peaceful world with less conflict and more common ground.

We will focus on advancing America’s core national interests, promote regional stability, and produce an easing of tensions in the world. We will work with Congress to fully repeal the defense sequester and submit a new budget to rebuild our depleted military.

The Trump plan will rebuild our military, enhance and improve intelligence and cyber capabilities

We will end the current strategy of nation-building and regime change.

And we will ensure our security procedures and refugee policy take into account the security of the American people.

Hillary Clinton Campaign: Trump’s ‘Secret’ Plan To Defeat ISIS Is No Plan At All

Donald Trump has consistently claimed that he has a “secret” plan to defeat ISIS. As it turns out, the secret is that Trump has no plan. Instead, foreign policy experts agree, the ideas Trump has mentioned are dangerous and wrongheaded–and his anti-Muslim rhetoric and proposals are recruiting tools for ISIS and other terror groups.

Trump spent more than a year claiming he had a secret, foolproof plan to defeat ISIS.

  • May 2015: “I know a way that would absolutely give us guaranteed victory. I’m going to say it, I guess I’ll be forced to say it at some time, but I hate to say it.”
  • June 2016: “Trump rebuffed Fox News host Greta Van Susteren’s attempts to extract the details of his ‘foolproof’ plan… ‘If I win, I don’t want the enemy to know what I’m doing. Unfortunately, I’ll probably have to tell at some point”

Turns out, there is no plan.

  • Trump: “Immediately after taking office, I will ask my generals to present to me a plan within 30 days to defeat and destroy ISIS.”
  • Politico: “But on Tuesday night, Trump suggested that he is still in need of a plan.”
  • Washington Post: “Now we know what Trump’s ‘foolproof’ and ‘absolute’ plan for defeating ISIS is — to ask the generals to come up with a plan, quickly.

And foreign policy experts agree: Trump is playing into ISIS’ hands.

  • Why Trump Is the Islamic State’s Dream Candidate: “It is deeply ironic and disturbing that the Islamic State’s dream candidate is posturing as the tough-on-terrorism candidate. If voters can’t see through Trump’s con game, terrorist groups like the Islamic State and al Qaeda will receive an unprecedented helping hand from America’s next president. Imagine what a conspiracy theorist — someone like Donald Trump — would make of that.”
  • Why ISIS is Rooting for Trump: “First, Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric plays into ISIS’ narrative of a bipolar world in which the West is at war with Islam. Second, ISIS hopes that Trump will radicalize Muslims in the United States and Europe and inspire them to commit lone-wolf attacks in their home countries. Third, ISIS supporters believe that Trump would be an unstable and irrational leader whose impulsive decision-making would weaken the United States.”
  • Why ISIS Supports Donald Trump: “Trump’s anti-Muslim proposals are likely to inspire and radicalize more violent jihadists in the U.S. and Europe… By demonizing Muslims, he feeds ISIS’s narrative that the U.S. is at war with Islam.”

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