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Casey Lucius: The US must take action now on ISIS



Much has been made about the connections between those who planned the Paris attacks of November and the perpetrators of this past week’s attacks in Brussels. The subsequent discussion has largely been about security issues in Europe. However, there is one major difference between what happened in Paris and the attack at the Brussels airport; the attack that occurred in the Brussels airport was an attack on America. The bombers targeted the area in and around the American Airlines check-in counter during the time that passengers were checking in for American Airline’s flights to New York and Philadelphia. While the bombs were detonated on Belgian soil, the target was us.

Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security issued a statement saying, “At present, we have no specific, credible intelligence of any plot to conduct similar attacks here in the United States.” As a former intelligence officer, I am immediately skeptical of a sentence with four qualifiers that tries to obscure the obvious. It is crystal clear ISIS wants to attack U.S. targets, whether here or abroad, and they have the will and capability to execute them. That means we had better get ready.

Getting ready means we need to implement reasonable security measures including random patrols and shared information that allows our national intelligence capability to benefit our local law enforcement and security personnel. A thoughtful strategy that includes multiple layers of security that is sustained over time is far more effective than impressive but short-lived displays of power. Balance is the key. 

The public needs to understand the threat of ISIS. ISIS can no longer be thought of as the jayvee team. They have executed over 75 attacks in 20 countries outside of Iraq and Syria. It’s time to start taking this threat seriously, and the American people have to be onboard and fully participate in all security measures. It will take focus, teamwork, resolve and vigilance. We cannot wait for the fuse to burn all the way down to that point when a plot becomes “specific, credible intelligence.” We should not be afraid, but we do need to come together and take action. Now, not after the detonation occurs on American soil.

- Casey Lucius is a Pacific Grove City Council member and Republican candidate for the 20th Congressional District.

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