Obama Praises Coalition Approach to Global Issues

American foreign policy must be focused on the threat from ISIS and al Qaeda, President Obama said Jan. 12 in his last State of the Union address, but it can’t stop there. Even without the self-proclaimed Islamic State, instability will remain in the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central America, Africa, and Asia for many decades, Obama said, and the world will look to the US to help solve problems. “Our answer needs to be more than tough talk or calls to carpet bomb civilians. That may work as a TV sound bite, but it doesn’t pass muster on the world stage,” Obama said, taking a dig at Republican presidential candidates who have proposed just that. Instead of trying to “take over and rebuild” countries in crisis, the US should act to protect its people and allies, and form coalitions to address issues of global concern, Obama said. But while the Commander in Chief mentioned several other countries and regions during his address to a joint session of Congress, he avoided any mention of North Korea, which claims to have detonated its first thermonuclear weapon recently. Twice he mentioned Iran, but did not say anything about the US sailors who are reportedly being held there. (Read the full speech.) (See also Iran Detains Navy Boats, Crews below.)