Fox News on February 1, 2015, reported that Sen. Kelly Ayotte pressed ahead with calls to get the Obama administration to declare war against radical Islam, as groups such as the Islamic State and Al Qaeda gain strength across continents, following the purported beheading by ISIS of a Japanese journalist. Excerpts below:
“It very much matters because you have to define your enemy,” Ayotte, R-N.H., told “Fox News Sunday.” “The administration should spend less time on political correctness and more time on a strategy.”
Ayotte made her comments as Islamic State, also known as ISIS, continues to grow and solidify in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq, where the extremist group now controls about one-third of the country.
In the days after a deadly terror spree last month in France, President Obama was criticized for purposely avoiding calling the attacks an example of “Islamic extremism,” settling for the more generic “violent extremism.”
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the attacks suggested the world was “waging a war against Islamist extremists.” And British Prime Minister David Cameron said afterward that Europe and the U.S. face a “very serious Islamist extremist terrorist threat.”
In 2014, at least five Western hostages were killed by ISIS in less than three months: U.S. aid worker Peter Kassig, American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and Britons David Haines, a former Royal Air Force engineer, and Alan Henning, a taxi driver from northwest England.
Last week, the White House tried to explain why the administration sometimes classifies the Afghan Taliban as a terrorist organization — and sometimes does not.
As Islamic State continues its foray in the Middle East, Al Qaeda and other Islamic extremist groups continue to grow in northern Africa.
Ayotte, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, also said that testimony in recent hearings on U.S.
efforts to stop the extremist groups suggests countries need America to take a stronger leadership role.
“Our word has to matter,” she told Fox News. “There’s a lack of strategy. Our word has to be counted on.”