Foreign Affairs Dem: 'You Cannot Just Wave a Magic Wand and Have ISIS Disappear'

A leading national security Democrat said he’s hoping President Obama will present a strategy tonight that stresses “you cannot just wave a magic wand and have ISIS disappear.”


Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), a key Dem on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and a notable critic of the Obama administration’s Iran strategy, said ISIS’ “destruction doesn’t mean that truth and justice just emerges from the soil of the Middle East.”

“If you destroy one power in the Middle East, you empower the other side,” Sherman told C-SPAN. “And the four groups that are fighting ISIS now are, in many ways, nearly as evil as ISIS itself. And, in fact, those who are fighting against ISIS today on the ground have killed far more Americans than ISIS has.”

The congressman said Obama’s “cautious” approach “has been a good one — when caution is called for.”

“I hope that the president will put Congress on the spot and ask for an authorization to use force because as important as it is to work for good governance in the Middle East, we’ve got to respect the United States Constitution,” he said. “It is not a given that our constitutional structure can be ignored and degraded and pulled apart and that somehow, the society will be able to face tougher times than we face now without — without it completely unraveling.”


That authorization should cover “air power and air power alone,” Sherman said, with boots on the ground only in instances such as rescuing a pilot.

“I think you authorize for two or three years with expedited procedures to reauthorize as this goes forward. And I think you have to explain to the American people, you can’t always get what you want immediately at a low cost,” the congressman continued. “And ISIS is not going to be destroyed in just a few weeks or a few months.”


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