Jeb Bush to outline national security strategy

In the wake of the terrorist attacks by the Islamic State, Bush plans to address “the path forward in our war against ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism, and how we need to rebuild our military to address these threats,” the campaign said in a statement.

The former Florida governor told a crowd at Coastal Carolina University here that his “comprehensive” strategy is designed to have the United States and its allies confront the Islamic State in its havens in Iraq and Syria.

“I believe we should take it to them there,” Bush said.

While the plan involves better intelligence gathering and more airstrikes, it does not mean thousands of American troops on the ground or that the U.S. will have to go it alone. “It does mean we have to lead,” Bush said.

He did not provide details.

Initially envisioned as a speech on how to “rebuild the military,” Bush now plans to discuss how the Paris attacks “only reinforce the critical nature of that policy,” the campaign said.

He will deliver the speech at The Citadel, the military college of South Carolina — and a frequent stop for political candidates to discuss defense policy.

The candidate’s brother, George W. Bush, also visited The Citadel in 1999 to deliver a major campaign address on national defense — a policy that changed dramatically eight months into his presidency with the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

During campaign stops Tuesday in South Carolina, Bush said the world changed again Friday in the wake of the Paris attacks that killed at least 129 people. At Coastal Carolina in Conway, Bush said the government has to recognize that the Islamic State is “a threat to our national security.”

Like other Republican candidates, Bush has criticized President Obama for what he calls an inadequate strategy to roll back the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

Bush, who has fallen to the middle of the pack in polls, is looking to revive his political fortunes.

A key part of any GOP presidential campaign: The South Carolina primary coming up on Feb. 20.

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