By Esra Kaymak Avci
WASHINGTON (AA) – The Speaker of the House of Representatives on Thursday laid out his national security agenda -- views as an attempt to soften Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s more controversial proposals.
In a speech at the Council of Foreign Relations think tank, Paul Ryan outlined his proposal that focuses mainly on current U.S. foreign policy issues such as the Iran nuclear deal and policy in Syria.
Ryan supports President Barack Obama's policy to rely on local forces in Iraq and Syria to defeat Daesh but indicated Republicans must be prepared to put U.S. troops on the ground if necessary.
"We cannot take options off the table, because doing so, telegraphs weakness to our enemies and emboldens them," he said.
He also urges modernization and unifying NATO.
Parts of the plan does not go as far as suggestions made by Trump, who has said he would build a wall along the U.S. southern border and force Mexico pay for it.
Ryan suggests the U.S. needs "more than just fencing" to keep illegal immigrants and weapons from crossing the border.
The speaker rejects Trump's demand to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S. because he said, "America must secure the border once and for all by accelerating the deployment of fencing, technology, air assets and personnel.
"We also must overhaul our immigration system for national security reasons," he added.
The proposal is part of Ryan's "Better Way" agenda project announced earlier this week, and aims at providing Republicans a pathway to run in elections in November.
Though the document does not mention Trump by name, while endorsing the real-estate developer last week, Ryan predicted that the billionaire would "make [the agenda] a reality."