Fast Facts: National Security Talking Points

Nat Sec Helicopter

To close the trust gap with voters Democrats must communicate a tough and smart stance on national security, and the points below will help.

#1: ISIS Strategy

The U.S. has a tough and smart strategy to degrade and defeat ISIS, and it’s beginning to work.

  • The Iraqi government has regained the key cities of Ramadi, Sinjar, and Tikrit from the terrorists, and U.S. forces have killed or captured key ISIS leaders.
  • The U.S. is leading a 66-nation coalition against ISIS through airstrikes and assisting local ground forces. Coalition forces are averaging nearly 20 airstrikes per day against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, killing more than 26,000 ISIS fighters since strikes began in 2014.
  • We can target and eliminate terrorist threats without getting dragged into a civil war. This is not our fight alone. Our Arab partners must also provide the resources to stabilize the region against terrorists.

#2: Syria

Neither ISIS nor Assad can be allowed to hold power in Syria.

  • We must intensify existing U.S. efforts to defeat ISIS and pave the way for a political transition away from Assad.
  • The civil war in Syria has claimed over 250,000 lives, created more than 4 million refugees and left 6.6 million displaced within Syria. It is becoming increasingly more complex.
  • The current UN-led peace talks provide the best opportunity for a political and peaceful resolution to the conflict in Syria. However, if they collapse, creating safe corridors through a no-fly zone will provide innocent Syrians access to humanitarian assistance, while providing the international community the time and space needed to find a political solution.

#3: Homegrown Terrorism

Our top priority is protecting Americans, and that means job one is defending against threats at home.

  • We’re cutting off ISIS propaganda, preventing terrorist recruitment, and partnering with local leaders to safeguard communities.
  • State and local law enforcement agencies on the front lines need better resources, training, and coordination to fight domestic terrorism.
  • We should also develop a local partnership strategy that brings together community leaders, law enforcement, and civil society to prevent homegrown terrorism in at-risk communities.

#4: Terrorists Traveling to the U.S.

We know how to do screening right—it’s important that Americans know that our process is much more thorough than any in Europe.

  • Refugees go through an 18- to-24-month screening process with several U.S. agencies, including the National Counterterrorism Center, the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center, the State Department, the Defense Department and the Department of Homeland Security.
  • After the Paris attacks, Congress changed the Visa Waiver Program to close remaining gaps. These changes prevent travelers with dual citizenship from Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen, or travelers who have visited these countries in the last five years, from entering the U.S. without a visa and additional screening.