Rep. Salmon Statement on the Beheading of Steven Sotloff by the Terrorist Group ISIS

Sep 2, 2014
Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Today, Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) issued the following statement on news reports of the beheading of Time journalist Steven Sotloff by members of the terrorist group ISIS.

“My prayers and condolences go out to the family of Steven Sotloff, who was brutally executed by ISIS barbarians.  This public execution is another reminder that ISIS terrorists will stop at nothing to advance its terror throughout the region and bring this fight to America’s shores.

“What we are witnessing is a catastrophic crisis of leadership.  Two weeks ago, the President called the jihadist rebel group ISIS ‘a cancer’ and called upon middle eastern nations to address the threat it poses to civilized society.  A week later, the President explained America’s strategy for dealing with the ISIS threat: ‘We don’t have a strategy.’  This is an unacceptable failure of leadership.

“ISIS is the manifestation of what happens when America is absent in world affairs. This administration has known for over a year that ISIS poses a clear and present threat to American interests. Continued inaction is unacceptable.  We need a strategy.

“The keys to a successful strategy are this: achievable goals, a defined exit strategy, and an active, regional coalition.

“The American people rightfully won’t support another military intervention without clear goals and an achievable definition of success.  This is also the only way to avoid mission creep and a perpetual drain on American resources.  The President must articulate an exit strategy because neither the Congress nor the American people have the appetite for never-ending conflicts.

“American leadership doesn’t imply a massive military footprint, but it does require engagement with partners who share our goals and our values.  There are a number of nations in the region that are well-equipped and poised to commit militarily to destroying this threat.  Their involvement is the key to a successful operation, and it is the President’s responsibility to build and lead that coalition in the annihilation of ISIS.

“Congress stands ready to work with the President to protect Americans at home and abroad, and any action to involve American combat troops in a foreign conflict will require Congressional authorization, but there are certain actions the President can take now.

“We have begun to arm the Kurds and support their counteroffensive with airstrikes.  Both of these actions make a tremendous difference in the security of the Iraqi state and neither involves American boots on the ground.  These programs should be strengthened and the President needs to seriously evaluate all options to ensure a successful operation.

“A cancer is not contained, it is eradicated.  The same must be done to ISIS and I’m willing to work with our Commander in Chief to get this done.”

Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs as Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. He is also a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
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