Journal Sentinel Highlights National Security as Major Issue in Senate Race

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Craig Gilbert recently reported on national security becoming a major issue in Wisconsin’s race for U.S. Senate.

Ron Johnson made his case for a comprehensive strategy to destroy ISIS, opposing the president’s reckless Iran deal and fighting for real solutions to help keep our country safe. Below are key excerpts from the story: 

National security was a back-burner issue the first time Ron Johnson and Russ Feingold went head-to-head five years ago.

But their rematch could give us the sharpest, starkest debate over war, terrorism and America’s role in the world of any Senate race in the country in 2016.

Combating the Islamic State. Johnson says ISIS won’t be defeated without committing significant ground forces from the U.S. and an international “coalition of the willing” to push the Islamic State out of both Iraq and Syria.

“We need to start denying them safe havens anywhere … yes, we need boots on the ground,” Johnson says.

“Wouldn’t it be nice if we were back in position at the end of 2011 and we had 20-25,000 American troops in a largely peaceful Iraq and were just kind of dealing with the political intrigue between Kurds, Sunnis and Shia?” says Johnson. “We shouldn’t have withdrawn … now we’ve got to try to put that Humpty Dumpty back together again and it’s going to be enormously difficult.”

Iran. Johnson was a fierce critic of the Iran nuclear deal, and tried and failed to get the GOP-controlled Senate to raise the threshold needed for passage to the very high bar required for treaties — two-thirds approval.

“Why in the world would you support an agreement that is going to funnel tens of billions of dollars, eventually hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy and military of your self-proclaimed enemy? Shouldn’t you be weakening your enemy?” Johnson says of the lifting of some economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

Johnson suggests any agreement with Iran is problematic. “I don’t view them as a rational actor. They have an apocalyptic view of the world,” he says. He calls a nuclear Iran America’s biggest long-term security threat.