The U.S. military needs to focus on fighting ISIS with air and drone strikes, as well as intelligence-gathering — not troops on the ground, Sen. Charles Schumer said Sunday.
“They are very much fearful of our air attacks and our drones,” Schumer said. “We should increase the number of drones and air attacks. That’s what ISIS fears the most.”
He said sending ground troops, similar to the Iraq War, would be a significant mistake. Instead, Schumer wants the military to use its model for decimating Al-Qaeda: intelligence-gathering and drones.
“We’ve had great success infiltrating Al-Qaeda, then using drones to degrade and destroy their leadership,” Schumer said.
The terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday may lead to other officials to push for ground troops. Presidential candidate Lindsey Graham has campaigned on sending troops to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Ben Carson, Jeb Bush have also been open to the idea.
The U.S. military believes that a drone strike successfully killed “Jihadi John,” an ISIS militant involved in several gruesome videos that showed beheadings of Westerners held hostage. His real name was Mohammed Emwazi, and he was a British citizen that was born in Kuwait.
There have been no credible terror threats so far against New York City or the U.S. so far — but law-enforcement is on high alert in New York City, particularly in the transit system, Schumer said. Security was beefed up at major events Sunday, like the Giants game at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
“Obviously, they are looking at subways, places where people gather, like Times Square,” Schumer added.
He also said that the U.S. should continue to accept refugees from the Syria crisis, but any refugees that enter the U.S. must be carefully vetted.
“We have to be very careful in this area,” Schumer said.
He added that Muslim communities in France have historically experienced a tension that dates back to the Algerian war, and that this isn’t the case in the U.S.
“There is a great deal of enmity,” the senator said.