Defeating ISIS will be one of the most important challenges facing our next Commander-in-Chief. I've laid out a three-part plan to take on this urgent threat and keep our families and communities safe:
- Take out ISIS's stronghold in Iraq and Syria. To do that, we have to intensify the air campaign against its fighters, leaders, and infrastructure. We have to step up support for Arab and Kurdish forces on the ground and increase efforts to protect civilians. And we have to pursue a diplomatic strategy aimed at helping resolve Syria's civil war and Iraq's sectarian divide.
- Dismantle the global network that supplies ISIS with money, arms, propaganda, and fighters. That means targeted efforts to deal with ISIS affiliates from Libya to Afghanistan. It means going after key enablers who facilitate that network and help jihadists travel undetected. And it means waging online battles with extremists to discredit their ideology, expose their lies, and counter recruitment efforts in the West and around the world.
- Harden our defenses and build our resilience at home. We need to counter each step in the process that can lead to an attack, deterring would-be terrorists and stopping plots before they're carried out.
To accomplish all this, we'll need to stay ahead of the curve technologically. The tech community and governments need to see each other as allies, not adversaries, in the effort to stop terrorist networks and keep their message from spreading. I know that Silicon Valley takes this issue seriously. Many tech companies already have terms of service that prohibit terrorist content on their platforms and systems for flagging prohibited content and disabling accounts. So let's continue to collaborate to learn more about these best practices and come up with systems that can protect both our safety and privacy.
Here's the bottom line: It's not enough to contain ISIS--we need to defeat ISIS. Our adversary is fighting on multiple fronts and constantly adapting. That means our response has to be just as nimble and far-reaching. We need to reinforce the alliances that have been core pillars of American power for decades. And we need to rely on what actually works--not extreme and pointless ideas like banning Muslims from entering the United States, which is not only impractical and a violation of America's core value of religious freedom, but also will make it harder to work with Muslim communities to stop terrorism.
We can't let fear stop us from doing what's necessary to keep us safe or push us into reckless actions that only end up making us less safe.