WASHINGTON—Hillary Rodham Clinton and Bernie Sanders are outlining the steps on Thursday they would take to combat the ISIS group, each making major speeches less than a week after the deadly attacks in Paris.
In New York, Clinton plans to offer her vision for “defeating ISIS and eliminating the immediate threats it poses,” her campaign said, describing a speech focused on homeland security and the role of U.S. leadership around the globe.
Sanders’ address at Georgetown University will be twofold: In a tribute to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, he will describe the philosophical underpinnings of his belief in “democratic socialism.” But Sanders will also discuss the Paris attacks and how “the world community can defeat the ISIS.”
The dueling speeches will delve into issues at the heart of the Democratic race for president and they underscore what Clinton views as a major advantage: Her readiness to be commander-in-chief as President Barack Obama’s onetime secretary of state.
But Sanders has tried to make foreign policy about judgment and frequently notes that unlike Clinton, he voted against the Iraq War and says that conflict opened the door to chaos in the region.
Here’s a look at what to expect on Thursday:
Defeat, Not Contain
Both Clinton and Sanders say the U.S. must defeat the Islamic State group, pivoting away from language used by President Barack Obama shortly before the Paris attack, when he said the militants’ capacity in Iraq and Syria had been contained.
While both candidates have called for an international coalition to fight the diffuse IS threat, they take different approaches. Clinton wants to set up a no-fly zone over northern Syria, saying it would create a safe area to address the humanitarian crisis. Sanders opposes a no-fly zone, arguing it could pull the U.S. into perpetual war.
Sanders is also open to U.S. partnerships with Iran and Russia in the fight against the IS group, a move that would be complicated by Iran’s ties to extremist groups and Russia’s connections to Syrian President Bashar Assad.
No Ground Troops
Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said in a South Carolina address Wednesday that the U.S. should send more troops to the Middle East to fight the IS group. Clinton and Sanders both oppose that idea.
Obama has deployed more than 3,000 U.S. troops to Iraq to assist in security and is dispatching 50 special operations forces to Syria. Clinton and Sanders both side with the president in opposition to a large-scale ground combat reminiscent of the lengthy wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Don’t expect either candidate to describe it as a war against “radical Islamic terrorists,” which is what Bush and some Republicans have called it. Clinton often refers to the threat as “radical jihadism” and Sanders speaks of the need to undermine the Islamic State.
Clinton has pointed out that former President George W. Bush once stressed that the U.S. was not at war with Islam and she doesn’t want “us to be painting with too broad a brush.”
Shades of Roosevelt
Sanders’ campaign said he will describe “democratic socialism” as the unfinished business of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who proposed a “Second Bill of Rights” in his 1944 State of the Union address. FDR’s speech asserted that Americans should have the right to a job with a living wage, health care, education and economic protections for the elderly.
He’s not the first to play the Roosevelt card. Clinton formally kicked off her campaign at New York’s Roosevelt Island last spring in a speech that touched on her “four fights,” a reference to the “four freedoms” Roosevelt laid out in 1941.