Joining NJTV News Anchor Mary Alice Williams from Washington D.C. is New Jersey’s United States Senator Robert Menendez, who is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Williams: Thank you for being with us Senator. What does it mean that France has officially declared war on ISIS?
Menendez: It means obviously that France will use all of its resources. It obviously is seeking to have a NATO summit on the issue. We don’t know whether France will seek to evoke article five of the NATO charter which says that an attack on one is an attack on all, but that will be part of a discussion. Obviously the attacks that France levied against Raqqa, the supposed capital of where ISIL emanates from and works from, is part of their response. So we certainly stand shoulder to shoulder with them and now the question is what does that mean in terms of action.
Williams: President Obama has said sending in ground troops would be a mistake. What do you think the U.S. should be doing?
Menendez: I think that we need this coalition to be a coalition of action. We need, for example in my mind, to have a no-fly zone with a safe harbor that would be able to take Syrian refugees right into their own county into a safe zone where they could regroup and ultimately seek to fight for their own freedom. But right now there is nothing but the option of flee, so I think a no-fly zone has now come to be critical for a variety of reasons, including fighting ISIL and creating the wherewithal from which to fight them, and thirdly stopping the hemorrhaging of refugees by giving them a place that is safe to stay within their own country. Secondly, I think we need to embed special forces closer up to the line as trackers, so that our bombings can be more precise.