Monday, January 30, 2017

Sensible Pause in U.S. Entry Policies

From Peter Brookes, at the Boston Herald, "Pause in U.S. entry policies sensible: Trump’s order targets countries with terror risks":
People will spin it anyway they like — and they will — but President Trump’s decision to take a pause and review travel to the United States from seven Middle Eastern and North African countries is sound national security policy.

It’s also completely defensible in these troubled times.

The presidential executive order will temporarily alter visa issuance, immigration and refugee flows to America from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen while U.S. entry programs are examined.

All of these countries have one thing in common: terrorism.

They may have a terrorist group operating within their borders or may have been slapped with the U.S. State Department’s State Sponsor of Terrorism designation as a country that uses terrorism or supports terrorist groups.

Of particular importance now is the Islamic State (aka ISIS) which, in my estimation, is in big trouble. The “caliphate” is under significant pressure in Syria and Iraq as forces close in on its key strongholds in Raqqa and Mosul.

For instance, Iraqi forces, with U.S. support, have made significant advances against ISIS since the battle for Mosul began last fall. The going is still tough, but Iraqi forces have reportedly taken back a good chunk of Iraq’s second largest city from ISIS fighters.

While Raqqa is still functioning as the Islamic State’s capital, tougher days are ahead for ISIS there. Syrian Kurdish and Arab forces, with U.S. help, are targeting the terrorist headquarters for a final assault.

But taking Raqqa won’t terminate ISIS...