- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 15, 2015

Frustrated Republicans called Sunday on the White House to get serious about fighting Middle East terrorism in the wake of a series of attacks, culminating in the massacre in Paris.

“First off, you have a strategic failure on behalf of the administration on not having a real plan to fight ISIS,” Rep. Devin Nunes, California Republican and chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said on the CBS program “Face the Nation.”

Former Florida Gov. and Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush was asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” what President Obama should do now. “Lead,” Mr. Bush said.

“That’s what I want him to do. I want him to lead,” Mr. Bush said. “He has the capability of doing this. We have the resources to do this. This is a threat to Western civilization, and we should consider it that way.”

Mr. Bush ticked off a list of responses, including declaring a no-fly zone over Syria, arming directly the Kurdish peshmerga forces, and re-engaging with Sunni tribal leaders in Iraq.

Rep. Michael T. McCaul, Texas Republican and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, called for the White House to stop its policy of trying to contain the Islamic State, also known as ISIL and ISIS, and move to defeat the terrorist group.

SEE ALSO: Reports of Syrian bomber in Paris undermine Obama refugee plans

“I think Paris changes everything. It should galvanize the entire world behind our efforts to defeat and destroy ISIS, not just to contain them,” Mr. McCaul said on “Meet the Press.” “That’s been the policy of this administration, has been containment only. And when the president said that ISIS is being contained, I would hate to see what ISIS looks like unleashed.”

Mr. Obama has been ridiculed for describing the Islamic State as “contained” in an interview Thursday on ABC News, one day before an estimated eight suicide gunmen attacked Paris, killing 129 people.

“I can’t think we can brush it aside any longer,” Mr. McCaul said. “We’ve got to deal with it at its core or we’re going to continue to see these terrorist attacks not only in Europe, but what I am most concerned about is an attack against the United States and the homeland.”

Sen. Richard Burr, North Carolina Republican and chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said, “We don’t have a strategy in Syria as it relates to ISIL.

“The president talked the other morning about ISIL was contained. America learned within 24 hours it’s not contained,” Mr. Burr said on “Face the Nation.” “It’s rampant everywhere in the world that they intend to carry out these horrific acts. It just so happens the United States is a target. But Paris was easier.”

Mr. Nunes said the issue wasn’t with whether there should be “boots on the ground.”

“Look, we’ve had boots on the ground there for over a year,” said Mr. Nunes. “The problem is, as Chairman Burr said, trying to use pinpricks with our airstrikes.”

He added, “The first rule of war for the Obama administration is not to take collateral damage. Well, that’s not war. And if you’re going to strap down the United States Air Force and our allies with these types of rules of engagement, we are never going to win and you’re going to see more and more refugees flood into Europe.”

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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