Barr calls for action in Iraq saying ISIS presents "a clear and present danger" to the U.S.

09/02/2014 09:40 PM

U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington, is calling for action from President Barack Obama and the United States military against Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria known as ISIS saying the terrorists pose a threat to Americans at home.

After weeks of bombings in Iraq have pushed ISIS back from strategic strongholds news broke Tuesday that ISIS had killed a second American journalist captured in the region.

The news prompted some congressmen to call for swift action from the president.

On Friday, Barr was already comparing ISIS to the nefarious terrorist group Al Qaeda which was founded by Osama Bin Laden — the same group which attacked in the United States on September 11, 2001.

“They are stronger. They are larger in number than the Al Qaeda of Bin Laden in 2001. They are well armed…They have access to passports,” Barr said. “This is a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States.”

Barr sought to make a point that the group filled the vacuum left in Iraq after American forces pulled out of the region in 2011 after 8 years of warfare. American troops are still fighting in Afghanistan 13-years after first being deployed.

“When you look at what caused this problem it is clear to me our Commander-in-Chief had the wrong strategy,” Barr said. “President Obama didn’t leave Iraq — he abandoned Iraq,” Barr said.

Barr said when Congress returns to Washington D.C. for the final weeks of work that there might be a need for further Congressional support for action in the region, but he said Obama needs to clearly outline the strategy and what is at stake.

“Inaction is not an option,” Barr said making the case that if not now it will be later that U.S. military forces return to the region.

“It’s really not about a matter of whether or not if the United States is going to reengage it’s only a matter of how,” Barr said. “Whether we reengage with a successful strategy to defeat ISIS now or later after we suffer a catastrophic attack.”

President Obama, Barr said, should be the leader on if and when to send troops to fight on the ground in the region — which could soon encompass part of Syria.

“Congress is not in a position to be the commander in chief, however, if I was to give advice — obviously we need to stop the failed strategy that this administration has been pursuing since the complete withdrawal of American presence in 2011,” Barr said adding the airstrikes have worked. (6:00)

Kentucky ranks among the top ten for highest active duty military populations with more than 45,000 members living in the state.


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