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Friday, May 24
The Indiana Daily Student

District 5 candidates discuss fighting ISIS

Indiana District 5 candidates for representative in the United States House are divided on what the U.S. should be doing to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and ?Syria.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill last month supporting the funding of arms to Syrian rebels. The law, which was part of the Continuing Appropriations Resolution that funded many other government initiatives, gives power to the secretaries of defense and state to provide equipment, training and sustainment to those in Syria fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

The law comes after a series of events of the group invading parts of the Middle East and posing threats to the U.S., including beheading two American journalists and a British aid worker.

President Obama addressed the nation in September to lay out his strategy for fighting the terrorist organization.

Along with funding the rebels, the U.S. has used airstrikes on members of ISIS in Syria.

The bill was voted on Sept. 17 and enacted two days later.

Rep. Susan Brooks, R-5th District, voted in favor of the bill. Brooks, who serves on the Homeland Security and Ethics committee in the House of Representatives, said ISIS poses a threat to the U.S. and the government should do more to ?combat it.

“President Obama has not adequately outlined a cohesive and comprehensive plan for dealing with this threat,” Brooks said in a press release after voting on the bill. “So I’m encouraged this amendment also includes measures requiring the president to be transparent with Congress and the American people about the success of our efforts and the development of a real strategic plan for dealing with the rise of ISIL.”

ISIL stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, another name for ISIS.

Candidates for Brooks’ seat in the upcoming midterm elections are slightly more wary of U.S. ?involvement.

Democratic candidate Shawn Denney said that while military action against ISIS is necessary, the outcome of U.S. action could be unpredictable.

“You can start it when you want to, but you can’t end it when you want to,” Denney said.

While military action is an important part of U.S. involvement in the region, there should be a diplomatic process following the defeat of ISIS, Denney said.

“We need to bring the Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds together and form a stable Iraq and do the same in Syria,” Denney said.

Libertarian candidate John Krom said he was less certain of what U.S. funding of the Syrian rebels would do for the region. Giving weapons to civilians is a mistake, and the United States should not strive to monitor all world conflicts, he said.

“It’s just human nature to want to help somebody, but we can’t help everyone in the world,” he said. “The American people cannot solve the world’s problems. We need to be more discriminatory of what we get involved in.”

Krom also said he believes the U.S.’s previous involvement in Iraq may have spurred some of the recent conflict.

While he said we need to be cautious of our involvement, Krom said he does approve of airstrikes of ISIS members.

This has been an issue of bipartisan support, however. The bill passed the House 273-156, with a majority of representatives from both parties in favor of supporting the rebels.

Three Indiana representatives, including Rep. Todd Young, R-9th District, opposed the bill.

In a Gallup poll taken last week, 60 percent of Americans approved of military action against ISIS.

A majority of citizens from both major political parties favor military action in Syria.

This story is part of a weekly series profiling members of the U.S. Congress and their opposing candidates for the midterm election on ?Nov. 4. Candidates from each district will be interviewed on a rolling basis.

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