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Congressman Mike Thompson

Representing the 5th District of CALIFORNIA

Sonoma Index-Tribune- Valley Forum: Why I opposed arming Syrian insurgents

Sep 19, 2014
News Articles
By: Representative Mike Thompson

ISIL is a dangerous terrorist organization that must be stopped. It has brutally murdered two American citizens, and it poses a threat to the United States, to our allies and to regional stability.

However, arming Syrian opposition groups alone is not an effective strategy to combat the ISIL terrorist group and diminish its capacity to operate. There has been inadequate vetting of these opposition groups. We do not have enough information on the people we are proposing to arm and train.

We cannot ensure that these weapons will not fall into the hands of ISIL, or be used against other innocent civilians. And, we need a better strategy in place to engage a broad, international coalition of Muslim countries to fight alongside these Syrian opposition groups.

Simply arming the Syrian opposition groups comes with great risk.

Instead, we need a comprehensive strategy that includes a debate and vote in Congress that specifically authorizes the use of force against ISIL, and the involvement of a broad, international coalition of Muslim and Western countries to diminish ISIL and degrade their organizational capabilities.