December 01, 2016

Corker: Effective U.S. Strategy to Fight Terrorism Must Respond to Evolving Threat

WASHINGTON – At a hearing today on the future of U.S. counterterrorism strategy, U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, discussed the need to address the evolving terrorist threat to protect the American people. The committee heard testimony from former U.S. counterterrorism officials, Juan C. Zarate and Daniel Benjamin.

“As ISIS changes from an organization intent on retaining territory to one focused more on inspiring and directing violence and spreading radical ideology, the next administration is going to face a new and perhaps even more diverse set of problems,” said Corker. “We have already seen ISIS and other groups employ multiple different tactics – from organized, external networks directing coordinated attacks in Europe to huge suicide bombings in the Arab world, to inspired attacks by lone wolves in the United States – like those that occurred in my own home town of Chattanooga, Orlando, San Bernardino and this week at Ohio State University.”

In his testimony, Zarate proposed an approach to fighting terrorism that includes confronting the ideology, building partner capacity to help allies more effectively defeat terrorist networks, and developing an overall national security strategy that enables the U.S. to achieve its counterterrorism objectives.

“With the right strategy, focus, and resources, there is no question the United States can execute an effective counterterrorism approach,” said Zarate. “The United States has the ability, organization, strength, and allies to defeat violent Islamic extremism in any manifestation – al Qaeda, ISIS, their affiliates, or whatever group may arise next. We should however take care to learn the lessons of the last fifteen years and not underestimate the ability of such terrorist groups to innovate, adapt, and ultimately threaten the United States.”

For archived footage and complete witness testimony, click here.