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POLITICS: PennAve

Republican lawmakers warn Obama is risking attack by ISIS on U.S.

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Politics,Congress,Iraq,National Security,Campaigns,PennAve,John McCain,Rebecca Berg,Lindsey Graham,ISIS

Republicans who think President Obama should intervene more directly in Iraq are now arguing that not doing so puts the U.S. at risk.

With increasing urgency, Republicans are imploring Obama to consider more forceful action against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the jihadist group encroaching into the Kurdistan region of Iraq and threatening its capital, Erbil, saying it could directly threaten the U.S. too.

"If [Obama] does not go on the offensive against ISIS, ... [ISIS is] coming here," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. said in an interview on "Fox News Sunday." "This is just not about Baghdad. This is just not about Syria. It is about our homeland. And if we get attacked because [Obama] has no strategy to protect us, then he will have committed a blunder for the ages."

"Mr. President, if you don’t adjust your strategy, these people are coming here," Graham added.

"This ISIS is metastasizing throughout the region and their goal, as they have stated openly time after time, is the destruction of the United States of America," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., echoed on CNN's "State of the Union."

Obama has directed that limited airstrikes be carried out to stem the spread of ISIS, but has insisted that that will be the extent of U.S. military intervention and that there will be no further escalation.

"I don’t think we can take out ISIS from a military point of view from the use of our airstrikes. That’s not going to solve the problem," Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., said on "Fox News Sunday". Instead, President Obama and other Democrats have suggested that the threat from ISIS should be diffused by a strengthened, more democratic Iraqi government. "I think that’s going to be the key to cutting of the type of permanent support that ISIS could otherwise have," Cardin added.

But many Republicans fear that depending on the Iraqi government will do too little to stem the growth of ISIS, and come too late.

"We can’t wait for Maliki or the Iraqi parliament to fight ISIS," said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., during an interview on NBC's "Meet The Press". "Every day that goes by ISIS builds up this caliphate and it becomes a direct threat to the United States of America. They are more powerful now than al Qaeda was on 9/11."

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Rebecca Berg

Political Correspondent
The Washington Examiner

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