Throughout 2016, U.S. Presidential nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have frequently commented on the Islamic State - also known as ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh - and outlined their strategies to defeat the group. The following are excerpted remarks by the two candidates on ISIS.

Donald Trump

Republican Presidential Nominee
CEO of the Trump Organization

August 15, 2016: Speech in Youngstown, Ohio

Our current strategy of nation-building and regime change is a proven failure. We have created the vacuums that allow terrorists to grow and thrive...

If I become President, the era of nation-building will be ended. Our new approach, which must be shared by both parties in America, by our allies overseas, and by our friends in the Middle East, must be to halt the spread of Radical Islam.

All actions should be oriented around this goal, and any country which shares this goal will be our ally. We cannot always choose our friends, but we can never fail to recognize our enemies.

As President, I will call for an international conference focused on this goal. We will work side-by-side with our friends in the Middle East, including our greatest ally, Israel. We will partner with King Abdullah of Jordan, and President Sisi of Egypt, and all others who recognize this ideology of death that must be extinguished.

We will also work closely with NATO on this new mission. I had previously said that NATO was obsolete because it failed to deal adequately with terrorism; since my comments they have changed their policy and now have a new division focused on terror threats.

I also believe that we could find common ground with Russia in the fight against ISIS. They too have much at stake in the outcome in Syria, and have had their own battles with Islamic terrorism.

My Administration will aggressively pursue joint and coalition military operations to crush and destroy ISIS, international cooperation to cutoff their funding, expanded intelligence sharing, and cyberwarfare to disrupt and disable their propaganda and recruiting. We cannot allow the internet to be used as a recruiting tool, and for other purposes, by our enemy – we must shut down their access to this form of communication, and we must do so immediately.

Unlike Hillary Clinton, who has risked so many lives with her careless handling of sensitive information, my Administration will not telegraph exact military plans to the enemy. I have often said that General MacArthur and General Patton would be in a state of shock if they were alive today to see the way President Obama and Hillary Clinton try to recklessly announce their every move before it happens – like they did in Iraq – so that the enemy can prepare and adapt.

The fight will not be limited to ISIS. We will decimate Al Qaeda, and we will seek to starve funding for Iran-backed Hamas and Hezbollah. We can use existing UN Security Council resolutions to apply new sanctions.

Military, cyber and financial warfare will all be essential in dismantling Islamic terrorism.

But we must use ideological warfare as well.

Just as we won the Cold War, in part, by exposing the evils of communism and the virtues of free markets, so too must we take on the ideology of Radical Islam.

While my opponent accepted millions of dollars in Foundation donations from countries where being gay is an offense punishable by prison or death, my Administration will speak out against the oppression of women, gays and people of different faith.

Our Administration will be a friend to all moderate Muslim reformers in the Middle East, and will amplify their voices.

This includes speaking out against the horrible practice of honor killings, where women are murdered by their relatives for dressing, marrying or acting in a way that violates fundamentalist teachings...

To defeat Islamic terrorism, we must also speak out forcefully against a hateful ideology that provides the breeding ground for violence and terrorism to grow.

A new immigration policy is needed as well...

A Trump Administration will establish a clear principle that will govern all decisions pertaining to immigration: we should only admit into this country those who share our values and respect our people.

In the Cold War, we had an ideological screening test. The time is overdue to develop a new screening test for the threats we face today.

In addition to screening out all members or sympathizers of terrorist groups, we must also screen out any who have hostile attitudes towards our country or its principles – or who believe that Sharia law should supplant American law.

Those who do not believe in our Constitution, or who support bigotry and hatred, will not be admitted for immigration into the country.

Only those who we expect to flourish in our country – and to embrace a tolerant American society – should be issued visas.

To put these new procedures in place, we will have to temporarily suspend immigration from some of the most dangerous and volatile regions of the world that have a history of exporting terrorism.

As soon as I take office, I will ask the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security to identify a list of regions where adequate screening cannot take place. We will stop processing visas from those areas until such time as it is deemed safe to resume based on new circumstances or new procedures.

The size of current immigration flows are simply too large to perform adequate screening.

We admit about 100,000 permanent immigrants from the Middle East every year. Beyond that, we admit hundreds of thousands of temporary workers and visitors from the same regions. If we don’t control the numbers, we can’t perform adequate screening.

By contrast, my opponent wants to increase the flow of Syrian refugees by 550% percent.

The United States Senate Subcommittee on Immigration estimates that Hillary Clinton’s plan would mean roughly 620,000 refugees from all current refugee-sending nations in her first term, assuming no cuts to other refugee programs. This would be additional to all other nonrefugee immigration.

The Subcommittee estimates her plan would impose a lifetime cost of roughly $400 billion when you include the costs of healthcare, welfare, housing, schooling, and all other entitlement benefits that are excluded from the State Department’s placement figures.

In short, Hillary Clinton wants to be America’s Angela Merkel, and you know what a disaster this massive immigration has been to Germany and the people of Germany – crime has risen to levels that no one thought would they would ever see. We have enough problems in our country, we don’t need another one.

Finally, we will need to restore common sense to our security procedures.

Another common feature of the past attacks that have occurred on our soil is that warning signs were ignored...

These warnings signs were ignored because political correctness has replaced common sense in our society.

That is why one of my first acts as President will be to establish a Commission on Radical Islam – which will include reformist voices in the Muslim community who will hopefully work with us. We want to build bridges and erase divisions.

The goal of the commission will be to identify and explain to the American public the core convictions and beliefs of Radical Islam, to identify the warning signs of radicalization, and to expose the networks in our society that support radicalization.

This commission will be used to develop new protocols for local police officers, federal investigators, and immigration screeners.

We will also keep open Guantanamo Bay, and place a renewed emphasis on human intelligence. Drone strikes will remain part of our strategy, but we will also seek to capture high-value targets to gain needed information to dismantle their organizations. Foreign combatants will be tried in military commissions.

Finally, we will pursue aggressive criminal or immigration charges against anyone who lends material support to terrorism. Similar to the effort to take down the mafia, this will be the understood mission of every federal investigator and prosecutor in the country.

To accomplish a goal, you must state a mission: the support networks for Radical Islam in this country will be stripped out and removed one by one.

Immigration officers will also have their powers restored: those who are guests in our country that are preaching hate will be asked to return home.

To Make America Safe Again, We Must Work Together Again.

Our victory in the Cold War relied on a bipartisan and international consensus. That is what we must have to defeat Radical Islamic terrorism.

But just like we couldn’t defeat communism without acknowledging that communism exists – or explaining its evils – we can’t defeat Radical Islamic Terrorism unless we do the same.

This also means we have to promote the exceptional virtues of our own way of life – and expecting that newcomers to our society do the same.

Pride in our institutions, our history and our values should be taught by parents and teachers, and impressed upon all who join our society.

Assimilation is not an act of hostility, but an expression of compassion. Our system of government, and our American culture, is the best in the world and will produce the best outcomes for all who adopt it.

This approach will not only make us safer, but bring us closer together as a country.

Renewing this spirit of Americanism will help heal the divisions in our country. It will do so by emphasizing what we have in common – not what pulls us apart.

This is my pledge to the American people: as your President I will be your greatest champion. I will fight to ensure that every American is treated equally, protected equally, and honored equally. We will reject bigotry and oppression in all its forms, and seek a new future built on our common culture and values as one American people.

June 13, 2016: Speech in Manchester, New Hampshire

"This is a very dark moment in America’s history.

"A radical Islamic terrorist targeted the nightclub not only because he wanted to kill Americans, but in order to execute gay and lesbian citizens because of their sexual orientation...

"If we don’t get tough, and we don’t get smart – and fast – we’re not going to have a country anymore — there will be nothing left.

"The killer, whose name I will not use, or ever say, was born to Afghan parents who immigrated to the United States. His father published support for the Afghan Taliban, a regime which murders those who don’t share its radical views. The father even said he was running for President of that country.

"The bottom line is that the only reason the killer was in America in the first place was because we allowed his family to come here.

"That is a fact, and it’s a fact we need to talk about.

"We have a dysfunctional immigration system which does not permit us to know who we let into our country, and it does not permit us to protect our citizens.

"We have an incompetent administration, and if I am not elected President, that will not change over the next four years — but it must change, and it must change now.

"With fifty people dead, and dozens more wounded, we cannot afford to talk around the issue anymore — we have to address it head on.

"I called for a ban after San Bernardino, and was met with great scorn and anger but now, many are saying I was right to do so — and although the pause is temporary, we must find out what is going on. The ban will be lifted when we as a nation are in a position to properly and perfectly screen those people coming into our country.

"The immigration laws of the United States give the President the power to suspend entry into the country of any class of persons that the President deems detrimental to the interests or security of the United States, as he deems appropriate.

"I will use this power to protect the American people. When I am elected, I will suspend immigration from areas of the world when there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies, until we understand how to end these threats.

"After a full, impartial and long overdue security assessment, we will develop a responsible immigration policy that serves the interests and values of America.

"We cannot continue to allow thousands upon thousands of people to pour into our country, many of whom have the same thought process as this savage killer...

"We are importing Radical Islamic Terrorism into the West through a failed immigration system — and through an intelligence community held back by our president.

"Even our own FBI Director has admitted that we cannot effectively check the backgrounds of the people we are letting into America...

"Immigration from Afghanistan into the United States has increased nearly five-fold in just one year. According to Pew Research, 99% of people in Afghanistan support oppressive Sharia Law.

"We admit many more from other countries in the region who share these same oppressive views.

"If we want to remain a free and open society, then we have to control our borders.

"When it comes to Radical Islamic terrorism, ignorance is not bliss – it’s deadly."
– June 13, 2016, in a speech following the Orlando attacks

 

Hillary Clinton

Democratic Presidential Nominee
Former Secretary of State under Obama and former Senator from New York 

June 13, 2016: Speech in Cleveland, Ohio

“The attack in Orlando makes it even more clear, we cannot contain this threat. We must defeat it. And the good news is that the coalition effort in Syria and Iraq has made recent gains in the last months.

“So we should keep the pressure on ramping up the air campaign, accelerating support for our friends fighting to take and hold ground and pushing our partners in the region to do even more.

“We also need continued American leadership to help resolve the political conflicts that fuel ISIS recruitment efforts.

“But as ISIS loses actual ground in Iraq and Syria, it will seek to stage more attacks and gain stronger footholds wherever it can, from Afghanistan, to Libya, to Europe.

“The threat is metastasizing. We saw this in Paris. And we saw it in Brussels. We face a twisted ideology and poisoned psychology that inspires the so-called lone wolves, radicalized individuals who may or may not have contact and direction from any formal organization.

“So, yes, efforts to defeat ISIS on the battlefield must succeed. But it will take more than that.

“We have to be just as adaptable and versatile as our enemies. As president, I will make identifying and stopping lone wolves a top priority.

“I will put a team together from across our government, the entire government, as well as the private sector and communities to get on top of this urgent challenge. And I will make sure our law enforcement and intelligence professionals have all the resources they need to get the job done.

“As we do this, there are three areas that demand attention. First, we and our allies must work hand-in-hand to dismantle the networks that move money, and propaganda, and arms and fighters around the world.

“We have to flow — we have to stem the flow of jihadists from Europe and Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and then back again. The only way to do this is by working closely with our partners, strengthening our alliances, not weakening them or walking away from them.

“Second, here at home, we must harden our own defenses. We have to do more to support our first responders, law enforcement and intelligence officers who do incredible work every day at great personal risk to keep our country safe.”

“The third area that demands attention is preventing radicalization and countering efforts by ISIS and other international terrorist networks to recruit in the United States and Europe.

“For starters, it is long past time for the Saudis, the Qataris and the Kuwaitis and others to stop their citizens from funding extremist organizations. And they should stop supporting radical schools and mosques around the world that have set too many young people on a path towards extremism.”

“Since 9/11, law enforcement agencies have worked hard to build relationships with Muslim American communities. Millions of peace-loving Muslims live, work and raise their families across America. And they are the most likely to recognize the insidious effects of radicalization before it’s too late, and the best positioned to help us block it. So we should be intensifying contacts in those communities, not scapegoating or isolating them.

“Last year, I visited a pilot program in Minneapolis that helps parents, teachers, imams, mental health professionals and others recognize signs of radicalization in young people and work with law enforcement to intervene before it’s too late.

“I’ve also met with local leaders pursuing innovative approaches in Los Angeles and other places. And we need more efforts like that in more cities across America. And as the director of the FBI has pointed out, we should avoid eroding trust in that community, which will only make law enforcement’s job more difficult.

“Inflammatory anti-Muslim rhetoric and threatening to ban the families and friends of Muslim Americans as well as millions of Muslim business people and tourists from entering our country hurts the vast majority of Muslims who love freedom and hate terror.

“So does saying that we have to start special surveillance on our fellow Americans because of their religion. It’s no coincidence that hate crimes against American Muslims and mosques have tripled after Paris and San Bernardino. That’s wrong. And it’s also dangerous. It plays right into the terrorists’ hands.

“Still, as I have said before, none of us can close our eyes to the fact that we do face enemies who use their distorted version of Islam to justify slaughtering $ innocent people. They’d take us all back to the Stone Age if they could, just as they have in parts of Iraq and Syria.

“The terrorist in Orlando targeted LGBT Americans out of hatred and bigotry. And an attack on any American is an attack on all Americans.”

“President Bush went to a Muslim community center just six days after the attacks to send a message of unity and solidarity. To anyone who wanted to take out their anger on our Muslim neighbors and fellow citizens, he said, “That should not, and that will not, stand in America.” It is time to get back to the spirit of those days, spirit of 9/12. Let’s make sure we keep looking to the best of our country, to the best within each of us. Democratic and Republican presidents have risen to the occasion in the face of tragedy. That is what we are called to do my friends and I am so confident and optimistic that is exactly what we will do.”

Strategy to Counter ISIS, via Clinton's campaign website

The threat we face from terrorism is real, urgent, and knows no boundaries. Horrific attacks like the ones in Paris, Brussels, Orlando, and San Bernardino have made it all too clear: It is not enough to contain ISIS and the threat of radical jihadism—we have to defeat it. Hillary Clinton has laid out a comprehensive plan to do that:

1. Take out ISIS’s stronghold in Iraq and Syria

We have to defeat ISIS on the battlefield by:

  • Intensifying the coalition air campaign against ISIS fighters, leaders, and infrastructure;
  • Stepping up support for local Arab and Kurdish forces on the ground and coalition efforts to protect civilians; and
  • Pursuing a diplomatic strategy aimed at resolving Syria’s civil war and Iraq’s sectarian conflict between Sunnis and Shias—both of which have contributed to the rise of ISIS.
     

2. Work with our allies to dismantle global terror networks

We have to stem the flow of jihadists from Europe and America to and from Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. To that end, we must work with our allies to dismantle the global terror network that supplies radical jihadists with money, weapons, and fighters. That means:

  • Working hand in hand with European intelligence services to identify and go after enablers who help jihadists forge documents and travel undetected;
  • Targeting efforts to deal with ISIS affiliates from Libya to Afghanistan; and
  • Working with tech companies to fight jihadist propaganda online, intercept ISIS communications, and track and analyze social media posts to stop attacks—while protecting security and privacy.
     

3. Harden our defenses at home

We have to do more to identify and stop terrorists—including so-called “lone wolves”—from carrying out attacks in the United States, including:

  • Supporting first responders, law enforcement, and intelligence officers with the right tools, resources, intelligence, and training to prevent attacks before they happen;
  • Launching an intelligence surge to get security officials the tools they need to prevent attacks;
  • Keeping assault weapons and other tools of terror out of terrorists’ hands by allowing the FBI to stop gun sales to suspected terrorists, enacting comprehensive background checks, and keeping military-style assault weapons off our streets; and
  • Supporting law enforcement to build trustful and strong relationships with American Muslim communities. We need every American community invested in this fight, not fearful and sitting on the sidelines.