GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson this morning issued a seven-point plan to defeat ISIS -- which he calls "Seven Steps to a Safer America" -- calling for Congress to issue a formal declaration of war on the Islamic State.
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“Our country faces grave national security threats,” the retired neurosurgeon said in a statement released this morning. “We must act boldly and decisively to protect American citizens from terrorists at home and abroad.
"We can no longer dawdle while ISIS continues to persecute Christians, enslave young girls, oppress civil societies and perpetrate terrorist attacks against the free world. We must destroy their caliphate and prevent their terrorists from infiltrating our homeland.”
The plan calls for the following actions to be taken:
1. "Congress should immediately issue a formal declaration of war on the Islamic State, which is also known as ISIL or ISIS."
2. "The United States should lead the immediate formation of – and provide substantial advisory, financial and military support to – a military coalition in the Middle East to wage war against ISIS. Such a regional coalition would consist of countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan."
3. "The United States should urge its allies and partners in the Middle East to engage in massive recruitment and training of Sunni Syrian men based in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf and of Sunni Syrian male refugees in Jordan – to establish a military force to destroy ISIS and to establish a protection zone for the victims of the terrorist state."
4. "The United States should deploy its military resources and work with moderate Arab nations – as well as extend strategic support to Kurdish, Christian and Sunni tribes in the free al-Hasakah Province in northeast Syria – to establish a refugee safe zone in the Province. All refugees should be directed to that free area and to other liberated areas later, and be put under international protection."
5. "Congress should immediately establish a war-time emergency visa and immigration policy; establish an emergency inter-agency task force to review all visa and immigration policies; and limit visitor visas to three months with mandatory check-ins for extensions no longer than three months."
6. "President Barack Obama and Congress should immediately deploy the National Guard and military troops to patrol the U.S. southern border as well as designated spots along the northern border."
7. "The Department of State should designate the Muslim Brotherhood and other organizations that propagate or support Islamic terrorism as terrorist organizations, and fully investigate the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood and a supporter of terrorism."
"Ben Carson is a failing candidate grasping at straws and seeking payback for CAIR's previous criticism of his anti-Muslim bigotry and his lack of commitment to uphold the Constitution," CAIR communications director Ibrahim Hooper told ABC News today. "He found that Islamophobia gave him a boost in the past, so he is trying it again."
The plan comes as Carson has experienced a drop in the polls, pointing to his lack of foreign policy experience.
“Well, basically ,people feel that I don’t have foreign policy experience and I understand why that would be the case because they listen to the narrative that only politicians can fix this,” Carson said recently on “Good Morning America.”
“But the fact of the matter is, if you look at all the people who are running, how many of them have had foreign policy experience?"
Recent polling both nationally and in Iowa has shown Carson slipping, most recently down to 9 percent in Monday’s Monmouth University poll – the first time he has been in the single digits since mid-August. His drop comes in light of a new focus on national security in the Republican presidential field, bolstering the campaigns of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.