Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham say they're appalled that President Obama's response to the threat posed by the Islamic State is to say, "We don't have a strategy yet." He needs to get one fast, they write in the New York Times. Putting a dent in ISIS's finances would be great, and political progress in Iraq and Syria would surely help, "but ultimately, ISIS is a military force, and it must be confronted militarily," they write. For starters, we must get more arms and intelligence to groups such as the Kurds who are fighting ISIS. Let them and other allies be our "boots on the ground."
But the US should also embed "special forces and advisers with our partners on the ground—not to engage in combat, but to help our partners fight ISIS and direct airstrikes against it," they write. This isn't about nation-building, they insist. The White House should look to the model of "Afghanistan in 2001, where limited numbers of advisers helped local forces, with airstrikes and military aid, to rout an extremist army." It's time for Obama to adopt a strategy and make his case to Congress and the American people, say the senators. "If he does, he deserves bipartisan support. If he does not, ISIS will continue to grow into an even graver danger to our allies and to us." Click for their full column.