Yesterday, President Obama addressed the United States regarding the threat of ISIL forces operating in the middle east and north Africa. American’s are timid to enter into yet another conflict in the middle east. Yet Obama had strong words and attempted to reassure Americans of their concerns.
“I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Obama said. “It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil.”
But as other commentators have expressed, this is a tedious rhetorical distinction. Obama is pledging to not have fighters on the ground, but pilots have already flown missions against ISIL at Mount Sinjar.
Obama is clearly signing America up for an increased effort against ISIL. No amount of rhetorical-distancing can belie that America will be making a more concerted effort to destroy ISIL.
“America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat. Our objective is clear: We will degrade, and ultimately destroy [ISIS] through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.”
This president is war-weary, though. Years of effort to end our engagements in the middle east have only found American’s embroiled in conflict after conflict. Yet, the president’s new strategy no longer restricts U.S. airstrikes to locations where ISIL poses a threat to American persons. Instead, attacks are free to pursue ISIL regardless of location, whether that be in Iraq or Syria.
“I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country wherever they are. That means I will not hesitate to take against against [ISIS] in Syria, as well as Iraq. This is a core principle of my presidency: If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.”
Watch the full address here:
Joshua is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. You can follow him on Twitter @Joshual33.