Ryan: When it comes to foreign policy, my biggest criticism of this administration is that it doesn’t have one. What we need is a comprehensive strategy to deal with this threat. That means support for moderate Muslims in the region and cooperation with moderate Muslim countries.
I believe we could’ve done more to get a Status of Forces Agreement in Iraq as the military recommended. The president insisted we could never achieve an agreement without a vote in the Iraqi legislature, and yet now we have one, even though we didn’t have a vote. We also could’ve helped the Free Syrian Army at a much earlier stage in this crisis when it was so much easier to separate the good guys from the bad guys, and the president chose not to do that.
To be fair, I think the president has changed his policies for the better, but I think one of the reasons we are where we are is that he made some terrible mistakes. The intelligence community has been warning about ISIS for quite some time, so this isn’t a new problem. The administration helped create the vacuum in Syria and in Iraq, which gave them the ability to take over whole pieces of these two countries. Now, he’s got a better policy today, and he needs to see it through.
I’m glad he’s changed his policy and I think he’s going in the right direction. I just think we need to learn from the mistakes that have been made in the past, and not second-guess and micromanage our military. Let’s give them the mission—to defeat ISIS—and then give them the flexibility to complete the mission.