Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) on Wednesday will outline his plans to defeat Islamist terrorists and combat the so-called cyberthreat in an effort to establish his commander-in-chief credentials as national security reshapes the presidential race.
Kasich will call for an urgent overhaul in U.S. foreign policy, including a more forceful military posture, intensified intelligence programs and enhanced cyber-defenses, according to a draft of his prepared remarks that his campaign provided to The Washington Post.
In the speech, which he will deliver at a Council on Foreign Relations luncheon in New York, Kasich also will call for arming Kurdish forces, creating no-fly zones in Syria, tightening security checks for U.S. visa applicants and stepping up cooperation with allies overseas.
Kasich plans to say that terrorists “pose a challenge that does not lend itself to resolution by negotiation. My view is that there can be no further delay in the concerted, coordinated effort that is required to defend ourselves and our allies and to defeat the terrorist threat.”
Kasich, who has struggled to break into the top tier in the Republican presidential race, on Monday condemned front-runner Donald Trump’s proposal to ban the entry of Muslims into the United States.
Kasich’s prepared remarks include no reference to Trump’s plan or the broader issue of Islamophobia, though the subject could come up in a question-and-answer session following his speech to be moderated by John Micklethwait, editor in chief of Bloomberg LP.
Kasich plans deliver a stern rebuke of President Obama’s foreign policy, which he describes as weak, indecisive and inadequate.
“The challenge posed by ISIS in Syria and Iraq is a symptom of a broader weakness in America’s national security policy: failing to advance what we believe and our basic national interests. We seem almost afraid to do so today for fear of possibly offending someone,” Kasich plans to say, according to his prepared remarks.
A key national security concern for Kasich is cybersecurity. He intends to lay out the threat of cybercrime and cyber-espionage not only to military and intelligence agencies but also to large financial institutions. He plans to assert that the federal government is “woefully behind the curve” in building strong cyber-defenses.
“The actual scope and industrial scale of this problem now poses a significant threat to individual privacy and security, to our international competitiveness, and to our national security,” Kasich plans to say.
He will add, “As we work to make cyber defense an integral component of our national security strategy, we must strengthen our defenses, deter cyber attacks, prepare to recover nimbly from such attacks when they occur, and respond swiftly and decisively to identified attackers.”