Ahead of the CNN Republican presidential debate on Tuesday, Ben Carson released his plan to defeat the Islamic State and protect the United States form terror attacks, calling for the country to declare war on ISIL.
“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,” he said in a statement. “We must destroy their caliphate and prevent their terrorists from infiltrating our homeland. We must also secure our borders, identify radical Islamic extremism by name and root out its agents and collaborators in our own country.”
The retired neurosurgeon’s plan comes as he has seen a dip in the polls, which Carson has attributed to his perceived lack of foreign policy knowledge.
Carson’s seven-point plan includes formally declaring war against the Islamic State, establishing a “war-time emergency visa and immigration policy,” and sending troops to the southern and northern borders.
He also proposes investigating the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim-American civil rights group, linking the organization to the Muslim Brotherhood.
“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,” Carson’s plan reads.
CAIR was investigated for having ties to terrorist groups and was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case. The Holy Land Foundation was convicted in 2008 of funding terrorist groups, but CAIR was never charged with a crime. The FBI cut ties with CAIR following the case.
The council has denied accusations that the group has been linked to groups like Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. CAIR told the New York Times that Carson’s plan is the first time a 2016 presidential candidate has tied the group to the Muslim Brotherhood.
“This is just an example of a failing candidate grasping at straws and seeking payback for CAIR’s previous criticism of his anti-Muslim bigotry,” CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper told the Times.
Read Carson’s entire plan:
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.