Where the Democratic Presidential Candidates Stand on ISIS

Democratic U.S. presidential candidates Senator Bernie Sanders (L), former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley pose on stage ahead of the second official 2016 U.S. Democratic presidential candidates debate in Des Moines, Iowa, November 14, 2015 Reuters

Less than 24 hours after the deadly attacks on Paris, which French President Francois Hollande said the Islamic State (ISIS) militant group is responsible for, the three U.S. Democratic presidential candidates took the stage for their second debate in the primary election season, at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

The horrific events in the French capital have shifted the tone of what was expected to be a debate focused on Iowa and domestic issues, moderated by John Dickerson, host of CBS News' Face the Nation. The conversation during the first 30 minutes of the two-hour event was focused on ISIS and the Middle East.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who generally is viewed as the front-runner in the Democratic race, has called dealing with ISIS a "long-term struggle" in which military action is essential.

Some people have questioned whether President Barack Obama underestimated ISIS. When Clinton was one of his top advisers during his first term, she urged him to help train and arm rebels in Syria. Clinton also has said the Iraqis must spearhead the military campaign, and that she is committed to supporting the efforts within the region to protect persecuted women, amid recent revelations that ISIS fighters systematically have raped women and girls. Clinton cited the failure of the Maliki-led government in Iraq for creating the conditions that led to ISIS.

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She reiterated her beliefs in her opening remark at the debate on Saturday.

"Our prayers are with the people of France tonight, but that is not enough. We need to have a resolve that will bring the world together, to root out the kind of radical, jihadist ideology that motivates organizations like ISIS, a barbaric, ruthless, jihadist, terrorist group," she said.

Clinton said the fight against ISIS cannot be just an American one, and that U.S. leadership is essential in the coalition. She said she agrees with Obama supporting those who take the fight to ISIS.

"We have to look at ISIS as the leading threat of an international terror network," she later said on Saturday. "It cannot be detained, it must be defeated."

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont has previously said ISIS poses a real threat, and that he fully supports the notion that the group needs to be stopped. Sanders believes the U.S. can't lead the effort to defeat ISIS on its own, and that a coalition with countries in the Middle East leading the effort is the best way to combat the group.

At the beginning of the debate, Sanders called ISIS a "barbarous organizaion."

"This is a war for the soul of Islam," he said. "Those Muslim countries are going to have to lead the effort, which they are not doing now."

Clinton disagreed with Sanders, commending Jordan's efforts in combating ISIS. She said she agrees that Turkey and other Gulf nations need to be clear about where they stand.

Former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley said on stage on Saturday that "ISIS is an evil in this world." The U.S. has a role in the fight against ISIS, he added, but the country must work collaboratively with other countries.

"We must anticipate these threats before they happen," he said at the debate, alluding to the Paris attacks. "We have a lot of work to do to better prepare our nation."

"Our role in the world is not roaming the world to look for new dictators to topple," he later said. "But our role in the world is to confront evil when it arises."