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 Politics Archive 2015

National security is one of the top three issues for Iowa voters
by Nathan'ette Burdine: December 24, 2015 

Republican and Democratic voters in Iowa ranked national security as one of their top three issues.

A recent Monmouth University poll shows that 29% of Iowa voters, who vote Republican, ranked national security as their top issue, followed by taxes and government spending at 19%, and the economy and jobs at 15%.

Among Iowa voters, who vote Democrat, there were 29% who responded that the economy and jobs were their most important issue.

There were 20% of Democratic voters who ranked national security and terrorism as their second most important issue, while 15% of Democratic voters ranked education as their third most important issue.

The voters’ concerns about the nation’s security were raised after the terrorists’ attacks in Paris, France and San Bernardino, California.

The radical Islamic terrorist group ISIS took credit for both attacks. Some within the national intelligence community have expressed concerns that the modern terrorists groups have been successful because of their advance knowledge about technology.

ISIS uses software in order to encrypt its conversations and to prevent national intelligence agencies from knowing when an attack will occur.

During a conversation last year at the Brookings Institution, FBI Director James Comey said that the problem is not the law but the lack of technological knowledge that is hindering federal officials’ ability to enforce the law.

Hence, federal officials are unable to break the encrypting code that terrorists use to hide their conversations. This in turn makes it difficult for federal officials to identify, charge, and arrest terrorist suspects.

Republican presidential candidate and front runner Donald Trump said that it is discerning that government officials haven’t figured out a way to use the advancements in technology in order to combat terrorism.

During the Republican Presidential debate last Tuesday, Trump said that closing down the internet and banning all Muslims from entering into the country is the best way to get around the government’s inability to use advancements in technology in order to combat terrorism.

Republicans and Democrats have negatively criticized Trump’s plan because it isolates the group that is needed to identify the potential threats.

During an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell described Trump’s plan as nonsensical because it would ban the U.S.’ allies, like the Saudi and Jordanian Kings, who are Muslims.

Trump's plan has also come under fire because it doesn’t properly address the issue of Americans, like the San Bernardino attackers, who’ve been radicalized.

In addition, there is doubt that Trump’s plan to shut down the internet will work because it doesn’t provide a viable solution to breaking the encrypted code that terrorists use in order to communicate on how and when they’re going to carry out attacks.

As for Democratic presidential candidate and front runner Hillary Clinton, she has proposed a three point plan to combat terrorism.

During the Democratic Presidential debate on Saturday, Clinton proposed working with the Muslim community in order to identify individuals who have been radicalized.

She supports working with Syrian opposition groups and the Sunni minority community in Iraq who all are able to obtain information on the ground about the terrorist group ISIS.

Clinton also proposed working with technology companies in order to break the encryption that the terrorists use to hide their conversations.

Although Clinton does not take the extreme approach as Trump does, she has been criticized for her time as secretary of state in the Obama administration and the administration’s failure to combat the terrorist group ISIS.

President Obama called ISIS “the JV” of terrorist organizations. And some believe his view of the group has contributed to the U.S.’ inability to develop a plan and strategy that will result in ISIS’ end.

Recognizing the heighten concern about the Obama administration’s ability to combat terrorism, Clinton distanced herself from the president’s strategy of contain and degrade.

During the Democratic Presidential debate on Saturday, Clinton said that she is holding firm to her position that ISIS doesn’t need to be contained and degraded but that the group needs to be defeated and destroyed.

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