Washington D.C.—Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Lead Republican of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, spoke on the House Floor in support of maintaining a residual force in Syria to protect the homeland from ISIS and other terror threats: 

Watch the full remarks here. 

“This is one of those rare moments in congress where we see both sides coming together exercising our Article 1 Constitutional responsibilities on foreign policy and I can’t think of a better committee than this, the Foreign Affairs Committee. This is not just the House, Mr. Speaker. This is a joint resolution with the Senate. This is going to pass the House and Senate, sending a strong message about our foreign policy. I believe that we learn from history and the national archives has a saying  that says what is past is prologue.

“You see, history repeats itself and we need to learn the lessons from history. I remember after we withdrew out of Europe after World War I, it allowed the forces of Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler to rear his ugly head and it took the Marshal Plan to finally put an end to it. As recently as 2011, the previous administration, President Obama pulled 10,000 troops out of Iraq and my side of the aisle strongly objected to that foreign policy decision arguing that it would create a wave of terrorism, and we were right. And ISIS reared its ugly head and the caliphate was formed.

“Mr. Speaker, you and I have served on the Homeland Security Committee and in years 2015 and 2016, the terror threat was frightening. My threat briefings were frightening. The external operations being plotted out of Iraq and Syria to kill Americans in the United States, almost one per month. We stopped 95% of those threats and the 5% is what the American people know about. But I’ll tell you this, from that experience, have not we learned anything? That we need a residual force, if anything to protect the homeland from terror threats. Now we have over 10,000 ISIS in country and over 70,000 family members… We had over 30,000 at the time of the peak of the ISIS caliphate and I’m concerned, Mr. Speaker, that this will embolden the Russians. The Russians have already gone to our military camp sites. They are mocking the United States of America…and ISIS is now emboldened. We need a residual force to protect us as we had in Iraq. We need that in Syria and yes, we need that in Afghanistan. We can wind down the number of troops but we need that residual force.

“I will never forget talking to Condoleeza Rice after she retired at Stanford and she said one axiom is true in foreign policy: your allies must know, your allies must trust you. Our allies are questioning us right now. We told them trust us. We have your back. And what is happening now, the Kurds are being slaughtered as I speak in Northern Syria and she also said, our allies must trust us and our enemies must fear us. That is my foreign policy. That is Condoleeza Rice’s foreign policy. I think it’s good foreign policy. I want to thank the Chairman for working with me, to stand up on this very important issue.”