'New Phase' Of War On Terror Precipitates New Phase In Election Cycle

For the third time in his seven years as president, Barack Obama spoke to the nation from the Oval Office last night. He did so following a probable ISIL-inspired shooting in San Bernadino last week, heightening fears of additional attacks.

He spoke of the victims, of the need to increase security capabilities both here and abroad. Obama also stressed that we must understand the ideology of the Islamic State has limited support around the Muslim world.

On the campaign trail, discussion have focused on national security and which policies should be proposed in the wake of terror attacks.  Candidates with strong backgrounds in law enforcement, such as Chris Christie, got a bump in the polls. Others, such as Ben Carson, who fall short on toughness and national security experience, see their numbers slump.

Front runner Donald Trump sat down with John Dickerson of "Face the Nation" and spoke about the fallout from the shootings. Trump added to his ever-growing list of -- more than questionable -- quotes and policy prescriptions.



When asked bluntly if he would be in favor of “profiling” Muslims, he didn’t shy away -- he would be fine with profiling Muslims if neighbors or friends have suspicions. Due process looks to be tossed out the window.

The President, in his address, spoke of a "new phase" in the war on terror, a concept that was mirrored by former CIA Deputy Chief Michael Morell. He noted yesterday on "Face the Nation" that given the attacks planned from Raqqa, Syria — the Paris shootings, the Russian airliner bombing and now an attack in the U.S. — extremist elements have increased their capabilities and reach.

As a country, we have to come to terms with a new security reality that we haven’t had since 9/11.The threat now is arguably much larger. This shift will have a profound effect on the election cycle.

If not the defining policy argument, one issue will be whether we approach domestic security policy and the refugee crisis with morality and compassion. Or, will we repeat unflattering moments in our nation’s history by shunning basic constitutional rights in the name of national security and closing our borders to those most in need.

Next story loading loading..