Hillary Clinton's Plan To Stop ISIS Is Much More Detailed Than Her Democratic Opponents'
After the Islamic State claimed responsibility for last week's terrorist attacks in Paris, how America can defeat ISIS became a major topic of discussion for the presidential candidates; Saturday's Democratic debate was even altered to include questions about foreign policy. While a few Republicans touted specific plans to attack ISIS, most focused on not allowing refugees into the U.S., and the Democrats never moved beyond vague statements about America playing a role in resolving the international conflict until Hillary Clinton outlined her specific plan on Thursday. Because Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley haven't released distinct ideas, Clinton's plan for defeating ISIS is more detailed than those of her Democratic opponents.
Clinton's plan is two-fold — first, she would work to include more Iraqi Sunnis in the fight on the ground in Iraq; second, she would designate Syria as a no-fly zone and ramp up America's support of Syrian opposition efforts. "If we press forward on both sides of the border, in the air, and on the ground, as well as diplomatically, I do believe we can crush ISIS’s enclave of terror," Clinton told the Council on Foreign Relations.
This is the most specific plan from a Democratic candidate so far, though she also continued with vague proclamations that we need to dismantle ISIS online as well as on the ground. Her website says: "ISIS and global jihadists are recruiting, training, and inciting violence on social media — breeding a growing network of terrorists around the world. The U.S. needs to work with our partners around the world to be just as savvy."
In the last Democratic debate, none of the candidates distinguished themselves with a unique approach to foreign policy, as they all pretty much agreed that the U.S. needed to have a presence in the fight against the Islamic State, but shouldn't act on its own. Bernie Sanders said: "What we need to do is lead an international coalition which includes very significantly the Muslim nations in that region who are going to have to fight and defend their way of life." However, Sanders hasn't explained how he would build such a coalition or what exactly it would do. O'Malley agreed with Sanders and Clinton and similarly spoke about unspecific plans, saying: "This actually is America’s fight. It cannot solely be America’s fight."
Republican candidates' plans differ greatly from Clinton's. Donald Trump said on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Monday that he would attack oil fields controlled by ISIS, and Lindsey Graham called for sending 10,000 troops to Iraq to "reestablish stability, take back lost territory, and destroy radical extremist groups like ISIL," he said on CNBC's Squawk Box Wednesday.
By talking about specific goals, Clinton further positioned herself as the Democratic front-runner in terms of foreign policy and proved that she wants to take a less violent approach than Trump and Graham.