ICYMI: Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) Talks ISIS, Social Media, and Homeland Security with Hudson Institute President

Just hours after President Obama delivered his last State of the Union address, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) sat down with Hudson Institute’s President and CEO, Kenneth Weinstein, to discuss U.S. national security from his perspective as Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

Below are several excerpts from Chairman McCaul’s appearance on January 13:
 
On the President’s Last State of the Union Address | “[The State of the Union] was more of a State of Denial of what the real threat is, almost harkening back to when he spoke about ISIS being the ‘JV team.’ … It’s really not seeming to understand or emphasize the threat. It’s always puzzled me about this administration why the emphasis is not on national security – why the emphasis is not on homeland security. In fact, those four words were not mentioned [in the address] – homeland security and national security – not at all. … At the very end he addressed national security issues but, in my opinion, did not deal with them head-on in a truthful and honest way, but rather as he has throughout his administration, to downplay the threat.”
 
On ISIS and Social Media“I’ve always thought that in the Middle East drone strikes are effective, but they won’t kill an ideology. We can send 100,000 U.S. combat troops there and kill, but at the end of the day it’s a war of ideology and how do you counter that ideology when at the end of the day it’s their back yard? It’s their responsibility to clean it up. It’s their responsibility to clean up their religion, and fix this problem they have within their own religion. And I think the best way to do that is to employ their religious leaders to counteract that narrative – it’s not a glamorous thing to do, to go to Syria. It’s not a romantic journey. We’re going to have a hearing in my committee in February with women and their parents that have been exploited by ISIS. … when they get there, they find out women aren’t treated nicely. Under Sharia Law, they have no rights. The more we can get out there and counter that message, even in the United States when they get these radical internet messages – two messages: come to Syria to join the fight, or kill where you are —  how can women be enticed by this, when we know what the consequences are? They may not because they’re young and naïve. That’s why the counter narrative message is so important. …We ought to be looking at social media postings for countries interested in applying for visas…any employer does that before they hire somebody–it’s pretty fundamental stuff. …That’s the kind of investigative work that’s necessary in the social media age to protect Americans.”
 
On U.S. National Security | “I think the next President is going to inherit a far more dangerous world than when Mr. Obama took office. That’s my opinion. I think there are so many hot spots right now that need to be dealt with, whether it be Russian aggression, Chinese cyber hacking, to ISIS and the threat of radical Islam throughout the world. … I think it goes beyond containment, but rather destroying the threat overseas that we’re not doing a very good job of right now. It’s dealing with ISIS, which the President has sort of learned to disregard or ignore when it was supposed to happen under his watch. It was supposed to all be over, but the reality is ISIS reared its ugly head. You can’t turn a blind eye to it – you can’t pretend it doesn’t exist. But you also can’t just –a lot of people have a simplistic notion, that you push a button or you carpet bomb [to destroy ISIS]. There’s a military piece to this that’s critical, but there’s also a political piece to this. … and I think dealing with the political situation on the ground is equally important. There’s also an economic diplomatic piece to this as well. …there’s not just one simple solution – pushing a button and the whole thing is over with. … there’s a lot of chaos, and the next President is going to have to bring some order to this, some leadership as a super power and fix these problems.”