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Clinton offers more hawkish approach on Islamic State than Obama

Her words amounted to an implicit criticism of Obama, who said days before the Paris attacks that Islamic State had been contained.
Hillary Clinton speaks at a Grassroots Organizing Event at Mountain View College in DReuters

Democratic presidential candidate HillaryClintonon Thursday urged amoreaggressiveapproachto fightingIslamicStatemilitants than President Barack Obamahas pursued, saying an intensified air campaign is needed combined with ground forces.

In a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, the former secretary ofstateoffered her most expansive view to date on how to counter a growing militancy that launched attacks in Paris last Friday in which 129 people died.

She said it is time for a "new phase" in the fight againstIslamicState: Amoreeffective U.S.-led air campaign that will "have to be combined with ground forces actually taking backmoreterritory."

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The effort will require an "intelligence surge," she said, involvingmoreArabic speakers with expertise in the area and technical assets. There also should be no-fly zones over Syria and safe zones for people fleeing the violence, she added.

"Our goal is not to deter or contain ISIS, but to defeat and destroy ISIS," saidClinton, using an acronym to describeIslamicState.

Her words amounted to an implicit criticism ofObama, who said days before the Paris attacks thatIslamicStatehad been contained.

Clintonsaid defeatingIslamicStatewill requiremoreground forces to counter the militants, who have carved out a self-proclaimed caliphate in Syria and Iraq.

She did not say whether this should includemoreAmericans but made clear the bulk of the fight should be done with local forces. On Wednesday, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush saidmoreU.S. ground forces will be needed in Iraq in the wake of the Paris attacks.

Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination for the November 2016 election, also said the UnitedStates will need help from American private industry to counterIslamicState's propaganda abilities.

Silicon Valley companies, she said, must not view government as its adversary when it comes to formulating counter-terrorism policies. She said social media companies can help stop terrorism by "swiftly shutting down affiliated accounts."

Clinton, who sometimes struggles to relate on the campaign trail, seemed in her element at the Council on Foreign Relations, speaking for a half hour then taking questions.

While parting ways withObamato some degree, she hewed closely to his decision to resettle as many as 10,000 Syrian refugees as part of the traditional U.S. welcoming role.

Many Republican candidates andmorethan two dozenstategovernors have called for a pause in the resettlement program out of fears militants might sneak into the country.

"We cannot allow terrorists to intimidate us into abandoning our values and our humanitarian obligations. Turning away orphans, applying a religious test, discriminating against Muslims, slamming the door on every Syrian refugee: That is just not who we are," she said.

 

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