In an interview with Alhurra’s Congressional Correspondent, Rana Abtar, Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla) discussed the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and described his bill authorizing military action against the terrorist group.
Sen. Nelson stated that while he believes President Obama already has all the authority he needs to presently deal with the group, “eventually, a bill, something like this one will have to be done.”
According to Sen. Nelson, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, “This is not going to be a short term kind of effort to rid the world off this threat that is so brutal. This is a group that is so cruel that it defies any kind of human civility and so the United States is going to have to lead this effort to go after them and eliminate this threat not only to us but to the free world. I believe the president has the authority to strike, but for long term, you need to have the Congress on record clearly giving him the legal authority for the long term because this is going to be a long term thing.”
When discussing airstrikes against ISIS in Syria, Sen. Nelson stated, “We can start that with a coalition from NATO or the Free Syrian Army going after ISIS and see how it progresses.
Sen. Nelson stressed the magnitude of the threat ISIS poses to the United States and the free world. He went on to say, “Of course, there are roughly a hundred Americans that are in Syria getting training. Europe has it much worse, between France, Britain, Germany and other countries, they have hundreds and hundreds of citizens that are in Syria being trained right now by ISIS, so what would you expect that they are going to do? They are going to go back to their homeland and try to do damage . . . they cloak themselves with their religious beliefs, which by the way are a bastardization of Islam. And as a result, they think they have all knowing truth and if you disagree with them, they will cut off your head. That is the kind of people that we are dealing with and we have to go straight at them.”
Sen. Nelson suggested boots on the ground is always a possibility when conducting a major military operation. “In my resolution, I have said rotational forces. It is a defense department term that would indicate a land army there on a permanent basis. That is prohibited. But obviously if we are going, there will be American boots on the ground in a way of commando raids, in a way of forward air observers on the ground to get the pen-point strikes.”