(The Hill) – Sen. Kelly Ayotte, (R-N.H.) is criticizing the Obama administration for what she sees as a lack of a cogent strategy to fight militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), warning that it could hurt American efforts to build a strong coalition.
“There is a fire alarm ringing, Chris,” Ayotte said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“I think there is a real concern out there not only about a lack of strategy, but in order to be a leader, to bring everyone together and work together, you have to be able to be counted.”
Ayotte serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, which heard from military leaders last week as well as former secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Madeline Albright. New Hampshire’s junior senator said that her takeaway from the hearings was that a “disjointed” strategy fighting ISIS is leading to “more outgrowth of these extremist groups in the region.”
The U.S. military has spent months launching airstrikes with a coalition of countries from Europe and the Arab world, while President Obama and others have reached out to create and keep that broad coalition of countries. The president’s plan is to support Arab fighters on the ground without bringing in U.S. troops, but outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel admitted to CNN on Friday that some American ground troops might be necessary.
Ayotte also touched on the recent spat between the White House and House Republicans after Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress without consulting the White House. She said that Congress shares the prime minister’s worries that there’s been “too much conceded” in continuing nuclear talks with Iran.
“Congress would like a say in this agreement because many on both sides of the aisle are concerned that we have a strong, verifiable agreement that really ends their nuclear program,” she said.
“I think you’ll find some bipartisan support in the Congress for the concerns the prime minister has about the ongoing negotiations with Iran.”