Langevin Statement on American Intervention Against the Islamic State

Sep 10, 2014 Issues: Armed Services, Iraq and Afghanistan

Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, released the following statement in response to President Obama’s remarks on the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS or ISIL:

“The threat posed by ISIS demands the world’s attention and action. They are the very definition of extremist, and their brutality knows no bounds. They have perpetrated unspeakable acts of violence against innocent people, including women, children and religious minorities who have been targeted for their refusal to adhere to an extreme and dangerous set of principles cloaked in religious sentiment. 

“Intelligence officials estimate that thousands of Americans and Europeans have joined ISIS fighters, and these individuals could return home with the intent of doing harm to the United States and our allies.

“This terrorist threat, combined with existing sectarian tensions and an Iraqi government that, until now, has marginalized too many of its people, has created a complex challenge in the region, and it will take a multifaceted, collaborative effort to ultimately defeat ISIS. That approach must include a more inclusive government in Iraq, and I am encouraged by the improvements we are starting to see on that front.

“Like so many of my constituents, I do not want to see the United States embroiled in another ground war in the Middle East. We have learned over the past 13 years from our mistakes in Iraq. But on the eve of September 11, a date so deeply ingrained in the minds and hearts of Americans, we remember where we have been, and can see a clearer path forward. Evil cannot be left unchallenged. I applaud the President’s speech tonight as a first step towards addressing this threat, and I appreciate his commitment to working with Congress and keeping the American people informed. Going forward, I expect to hear further details of the timing and scope of the strategy he proposes, and I will continue to exercise rigorous oversight of the military commitment to come.

“The challenges we face are tremendous, but in the face of this adversity, the United States of America is ready to lead a broad coalition of partners in the region and worldwide to address the threat posed by ISIS. And as we face this threat, I continue to be so grateful to the brave men and women of our military. To the service members here and abroad, and to the troops that will join this effort to defeat ISIS, thank you for your tireless commitment to preserving freedom and protecting our country.”