Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican from Red Oak, says she is concerned with the way the administration has allowed Russia to take the lead in action in Syria. “We have truly in the United States abdicated our leadership in the Middle East. And that has been done by our administration. They lack a clear and coherent strategy in the Middle East,” Ernst says.
She says without the leadership of the U.S., other countries are stepping in. “That’s exactly what Russia is doing — they saw and opening and they are taking it,” Ernst explains. “So, we see a trifecta emerging in the Middle East and that trifecta is Iran, Russia and Syria.” Ernst says those countries definitely do not support the goals of the U.S. for the region.
“So, I have very grave concerns about it. Yesterday we did hear from General John Campbell, he is the commander of forces in Afghanistan, and he does believe we need a new strategy in Afghanistan. And that means keeping our troop levels the same and not decreasing those,” Ernst says. “He does have strategies he has proposed to the administration. We are waiting to hear what the results of those discussions are.” Ernst is a military veteran and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.