U.S. Senator Ron Johnson was at the United Nations, as the U.S. launches airstrikes against ISIS in Syria. “I was very encouraged by the fact that 5 Arab states were not only participating, but were willing to go public with their participation, which I think is the most important and significant part of that,” Johnson said on Tuesday.
“This is not going to a perfect strategy that is going to defeat this enemy in two weeks to three months or a year. This is going to be a long-term threat that we’re going to have to deal with well after this administration and beyond,” said Johnson.
Earlier this month, President Barack Obama tapped Johnson, a Republican who has often been a critic of the U.N., to serve on the U.S. delegation to the 69th General Assembly. “There are many, many, many problems with the United Nations,” Johnson said. “But there are some advantages. This isn’t a black and white situation. There needs to be a forum where world leaders can come together and discuss shared interests.”
In New York, Johnson participated in forums on gender-based violence and global counter-terrorism. “I’m always looking for the positive in things, I really am. I’m trying to find how can you utilize a situation to make it as substantive as possible, and that’s really what I’m trying to do with my time here at the United Nations.”
Johnson arrived in New York on Sunday, in the wake of big demonstrations calling for action to combat climate change. “I passed by where the protesters were, and all I saw was a whole lot of garbage on the street. So, if we’re trying to save the planet and clean it up, that protest made it dirtier.”