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Arizona congressman calls for plan to deal with ISIS

PHOENIX — U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) said it is time the United States develops a plan to deal with the organization known as the Islamic State, or ISIS.

Gosar said he expects President Barack Obama to ask Congress for a declaration of war and continued funding for American military involvement. Gosar opposes the idea, unless Obama comes up with a plan that is “orchestrated, that makes sense and that Americans will back.”

“We have to have consensus plan and a foreign policy that makes sense,” he said. “This administration does not. Little old Jordan is like the engine that could.”

ISIS burned Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath Al-Kaseasbeh alive on Jan. 3. In retaliation, Jordan executed two people with ties to al-Qaida on Tuesday. Gosar said he supports Jordan’s response.

Gosar introduced legislation last fall after the the beheading of American journalist Daniel Pearl that would have offered a $5 million cash reward for information leading to the arrest or conviction of anyone who kidnaps or murders Americans. Congress failed to approve it.

Thunderbird School of Global Management Professor Paul Kinsinger, who spent 20 years in the Central Intelligence Agency, said there are two levels in the battle against ISIS.

“One is the battle for Arab public opinion.

“The other is the actual battle on the ground with ISIS. ISIS has taken a beating from the airpower of the West, they still have the ability to surprise weak regimes and take the battle to the locals. The strategy for ISIS is the interesting piece here. Does this (beheadings/burning) win the hearts and minds of people they’re trying to recruit for the fight while alienating the larger population? Possibly.”

King Abdullah II vowed Jordan will continue to take tough action, but Kinsinger doubts the nation has the capability to combat ISIS long-term.

“Jordan has a very focused Western military that is highly-trained. They depend on the West for equipment while depending on other Arab countries for economic help. Does Abdullah have the ability to launch some largely Jordanian response and can he keep that up? I don’t think so.

“It has to be in coalition with the rest of the coalition partners. He might double-down on the effort to put more Jordanian resources into the fight. He can’t take it to ISIS by himself without exhausting his resources quickly.”