SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – After calling President Barack Obama “too cautious” earlier this week, Senator Dianne Feinstein said she’s encouraged by his pledge to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic militant group that has beheaded two American journalists.
After a week of bipartisan criticism over a lack of strategy against the group known as the Islamic State In Iraq and Syria, President Obama said Wednesday the US would pursue ISIS until “it’s no longer a threat, not just to Iraq, but also to the region and to the United States.”
Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, lauded the president’s new focus.
“If the United States doesn’t act, nobody will. I believe they will want Bagdad to be the center of this caliphate. And we have the largest embassy in the world in Bagdad,” she said.
Feinstein noted the opportunity before President Obama at the NATO summit in Wales on Thursday to forge “a coalition of the willing of NATO nations” to stop the flow of capital, arms and fighters to the organization.
President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron cautioned NATO allies about the risks of “an isolationist approach”, writing an opinion piece in the Times of London that urges NATO countries to “use all the resources at our disposal—military, economic and political.”
Feinstein noted that ISIS receives millions of dollars every day which finances a trained, disciplined army that will not disband once the group has control of Bagdad.
“I have no doubt. We’ll either fight them now or we’ll fight them later because they’re not going to stop,” she said, taking questions from reporters after speaking to business leaders at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group in Santa Clara.
Further development of an international strategy against ISIS should be discussed when the U.S. chairs next week’s meeting of the United Nations Security Council, Feinstein said.