Obama’s response to terrorism illustrates failing national security policies

What happened in Paris last week was a tragedy for every human on this planet. It impacted the lives and families of those taken, as well as the rest of the global community. Over 130 people lost their lives in one of the most malicious and disgustingly well-coordinated terrorist attacks our world has ever seen.

The attack has had a resounding effect across the globe. In just a few short days, millions have shown support to France through various forms of social media. For many of us, this is the only help we can offer our allies overseas.

In light of these horrific attacks last Friday, America can’t make this issue a partisan debate. Partisan gridlock will stall out the congressional process, leaving America susceptible to the same national security threats on our own soil. Additionally, it’s not up to our president, or any lone wolf lawmaker, to accept mass quantities of Syrian refugees. We need to base our decision making on the facts at hand, rather than the rhetorical appeal to emotion displayed by President Obama and members of his staff.

Given the current state of Syria and the prominence of ISIS, millions of refugees are seeking asylum in Western Europe, the United States, and other areas across the globe. Granting asylum to refugees has always been a polarizing issue in American politics, and, as many know, it has been confirmed that one of the Paris attackers was found in possession of a Syrian passport.

Obama spoke at the G20 summit in Antalya, Turkey today, outlining the US strategy to combat terrorism in Syria through cooperation with our allies. This strategy is nothing new, as Obama used the G20 summit as a forum to silence critics who say that drastic changes are needed in military policy to combat the global threat of ISIS. Obama added that despite the Paris attacks, we can’t overlook the efforts made that have contained ISIS to date.

Cooperative bombing missions can kill a few dozen members of ISIS at a time and destroy some of their infrastructure, but they won’t immobilize them or prevent their marketing campaigns on social media to recruit new radicals outside of Syria.

We will certainly need cooperation from our allies to take down ISIS, but it’s hard to believe that ISIS has been contained when a handful of radicals can injure over 300 Parisians in a matter of minutes by utilizing the same refugee crisis that they themselves created.

The attack last Friday wasn’t just a “setback,” as Obama described it at the G20 summit, but rather a horrific display of failing policy regarding the Syrian refugee crisis. ISIS isn’t contained, and it is using its own domestic acts of terror in Syria to spread its radical ideology to sovereign, civilized areas of the world. By terrorizing Syria and creating a refugee crisis, members of ISIS have been able to mask themselves as refugees and enter foreign countries, largely unwatched and at the expense of tax-paying citizens in these nations. That isn’t containment – that is the spread of international terrorism.

Michigan, one of the most welcoming states in America in terms of refugees and internationals, has now temporarily suspended asylum for Syrian refugees until screening measures improve at the federal level. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who has long been a proponent of diversity in his state, announced over the weekend that Michigan will be suspending asylum because of the security concerns regarding refugees. Eight other US Governors, including Gov. Paul LePage, have joined in this effort as well.

Without a doubt, the majority of refugees seeking asylum are non-violent and looking to escape the tragedies of their homeland. But, when you allow mass quantities of refugees to enter without proper vetting and screening procedures, events like what happened in Paris last week are almost certain to occur. Allowing just one radical into any country by means of the refugee crisis is an example of failing foreign policy. Nobody should be granted asylum in our country, or any allied country, until its federal government is certain that those being granted asylum are a non-threat to their national security interests. It only takes one radical to kill dozens of innocent civilians, and if what happened in Paris occurred in America, who would be to blame?

Governor Snyder has set a precedent that our president can’t match. As a leader of any state, nation, or entity, it is your primary responsibility to protect the citizens you serve, not to provide a safe haven to potentially dangerous refugees. Obama’s sluggish, emotionally charged response to terrorism will not stop radicals from being recruited on our soil, and it will not stop ISIS from carrying out its terror in Syria. As an allied community, we must preserve and safeguard the security of our citizens before we allow asylum to continue, taking every necessary step to ensure that the refugees we take in are in fact non-violent, non-threats to our national security interests.

Jacob Posik

About Jacob Posik

Jacob Posik, of Turner, is the editor of The Maine Wire, an online news and opinion service offered by the Maine Heritage Policy Center. His blog covers local and national political topics.