Obama Lays Out Strategy to “Destroy” ISIS

On the eve of the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, President Obama laid out a four-part strategy to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS, which has wreaked havoc on the Middle East and recently beheaded two American journalists held captive in Syria. Addressing the nation Wednesday evening, Obama said, “we have not yet detected specific plotting against our homeland,” though he also noted that “thousands of foreigners, including Europeans and some Americans, have joined [ISIS] in Syria and Iraq” and “could try to return to their home countries and carry out deadly attacks.” That’s why the US will continue its “systematic campaign of airstrikes against these terrorists,” while also working with the newly established Iraqi government to “expand our efforts … so that we’re hitting ISIL targets as Iraqi forces go on offense.” For the first time, the President announced he “will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq.” Second, he said, the US will send an additional 475 service members to Iraq to support “forces fighting these terrorists on the ground.” Third, the US will “redouble” its “efforts to cut off” ISIS funding; “improve our intelligence; strengthen our defenses; counter [ISIS’] warped ideology; and stem the flow of foreign fighters into, and out of, the Middle East.” Finally, Obama said the US will continue providing humanitarian aid to civilians “displaced” by ISIS. (Obama transcript)