Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) condemned President Obama’s strategy to combat the Islamic State Tuesday on the Senate floor, tearing apart the president’s statement Monday that America’s strategy would not change, even in the wake of the Paris attacks.
"We can defeat ISIL [the Islamic State], and we can wipe them off the face of the earth," he said. "But we’ve got to have a strategy, and this president has never had a strategy."
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McCain criticized Obama for failing to grasp reality and change course, despite a growing terrorist threat.
"He fails to understand, even now, that wars do not end just because he says they are over, that our terrorist enemies are not defeated just because he says they are, that the threat posed by ISIL is not contained just because he desires it to be so," he said.
McCain also criticized Obama, urging him to realize his mistakes, which include not arming moderate Syrian rebels, not intervening militarily in Iraq or Syria, and now, saying that "his strategy is working" and that "all it needs is time."
McCain said that until Obama realizes that he has to lead "an international effort to end the conflict in Syria and Iraq," the "costs of this conflict will continue to mount."
"Now we see the latest manifestation of this threat: Global terrorist attacks directed and inspired by ISIL that has killed hundreds across the world," he said. "The Paris attacks, obviously, should be a wake-up call for all Americans, most of all for the President. If we stay the course, if we don’t change our strategy now, we will be attacked."
McCain suggested ramping up America’s air campaign and implementing ground troops.
"I am convinced that we can send in a force composed of Sunni Arabs, of Egyptians, of Turks, and Americans, about 10,000, establish the no-fly zone, allow the refugees a sanctuary, and make sure that no barrel bombing will be allowed in those areas," he said.
Throughout his speech, McCain rejected Obama’s insistence that America’s "influence is limited" and that "there is no military solution."
"We are the strongest nation on earth, and to say that we can’t defeat ISIL is a matter of will," he said. "We can succeed. ISIL is not invincible."