Obama Defends Anti-ISIS Strategy Following Paris Attacks

President Obama on Monday defended the United States’ current strategy to defeat ISIS, saying he has no intentions of sending ground troops in to counter ISIS in Iraq and Syria. A large-scale ground force could take land, but gains would be temporary, Obama said during a press conference at the G20 Summit in Turkey. “As long as we leave our troops there, we can hold it, but that does not solve the underlying problem of eliminating the dynamics that are producing these kinds of violent extremist groups.” The US could send thousands of troops to Syria, but “what happens when there’s a terrorist attack generated from Yemen? Do we send more troops into there? Or Libya, perhaps?” The US and coalition forces need to support local populations “that are committed to inclusive governance and who are pushing back against ideological extremes” to defeat ISIS. “So we are going to continue to pursue the strategy that has the best chance of working, even though it does not offer the satisfaction, I guess, of a neat headline or an immediate resolution,” Obama said. He added, “We have the right strategy, and we’re going to see it through.”