Senators fearing that radical Islamists will infiltrate the refugee program and harm South Carolina residents are set to debate this week a measure to limit the program’s funding.
But no state solution is a sufficient answer to any terrorist threat—real or perceived.
As lawmakers mull the legislation this week let’s seize the opportunity to take a step back and examine how we ever got to this point.
The U.S. is enamored with its failed decades-old pattern of arming rebels in violent conflicts worldwide.
And she is poised to again fund a program to train Syrian rebels, despite having little to show for a reported $500 million first attempt–and despite reports that the Islamic State group is fighting with U.S. weapons.
If inadvertently arming the enemy isn’t cause enough for concern, blowback is a serious consequence.
Whether the catalyst is a couple of rogue soldiers harassing and murdering villagers in Afghanistan, or misguided drone strikes by the U.S. that the enemy can use as a recruiting tool, blowback is a driving force behind threats to our national security.
My concern isn’t whether refugees from countries torn apart by the Islamic State group will infiltrate our refugee program and try to destroy our American way of life, though the Federal Bureau of Investigation director has said there are gaps in the data that federal officials can obtain from Syrian refugees.
I’m worried that we will fail to recognize the role our own government has played in Middle East conflicts that have created refugee populations.
I want the same thing that this state bill’s authors do—a safe South Carolina.
I hope they’ll use their influence to call for reforms to our national foreign policy. And I hope that would lead to fewer people being driven from their homes worldwide.