U.S. Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush speaks at a campaign town hall meeting in Franklin, N.H., Nov. 13, 2015. 
Photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

Jeb Bush calls for US to lead war against ISIS


Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush wants the United States to declare war on ISIS.

Speaking on “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Bush addressed the recent attacks in Paris and said that he believes America has a responsibility to lead in the fight against what he called “this radical Islamist threat.”

“This is viewed as a law enforcement exercise by the Obama administration. We should declare war,” Bush said. “We have the capabilities to do this. We just have to show the will.”

His desire to call for war could provoke comparisons to his brother, President George W. Bush, who sent troops to Iraq in what became a widely unpopular war against terrorism after the September 11 attacks on the U.S.

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The former Florida governor listed a number of actions he thinks President Barack Obama should take, including declaring a no-fly zone over Syria and directly arming the Peshmerga forces in Iraq. Bush also declared that he wants to American boots on the ground in the fight against ISIS.

“It ought to be designed by our military without their hands tied,” he said. “We ought to know exactly what it will take and we can’t do it alone, I think that’s an important lesson from history, but we need to lead.”

Bush dodged the question as to whether or not he would trust his Republican opponents Ben Carson and Donald Trump as a commander-in-chief, but he did add that “the words that I hear them speaking give me some concern.”

The candidate also worked to distinguish himself from the Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton by calling out what she said in the Democratic debate Saturday night.

“I’m more concerned about Hillary Clinton thinking that the United States doesn’t have a leadership role in this,” Bush said, referring Clinton’s statement at the debate when she said the fight against ISIS “cannot be an American fight.”

At the same time, Bush said ISIS “is not something you can contain,” and “the policy of containment isn’t gonna work,” which is in agreement with what Clinton said in the debate.

“We have to look at ISIS as a leading threat of an international terror network, it cannot be contained, it must be defeated,” she said Saturday.

Both are making clear distinctions from Obama, who said recently that ISIS had been contained.

Ben Rhodes, the White House deputy national security adviser, said Obama was referring specifically to ISIS’s geographical expansion in Iraq and Syria when he said it was contained.

“We were able to halt that expansion,” Rhodes said on “Meet the Press” Sunday. “We’ve actually been able to push back and reclaim territory from ISIL in both Iraq and Syria, including most recently in an operation with our Kurdish allies on the ground in Iraq, where they were able to take the strategic town of Sinjar, cutting off one of the key supply lines.”