President Obama will address the nation Wednesday to lay out U.S. plans for combating the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), promising the U.S. can and will defeat the group.
“Over the course of months, we are going to be able to not just blunt the momentum of (ISIS),” the president said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press. “We are going to systematically degrade their capabilities. We’re going to shrink the territory that they control. And ultimately we’re going to defeat them.”
“We will hunt down [ISIS] members and assets wherever they are,” Mr. Obama added. “I will reserve the right to always protect the American people and go after folks who are trying to hurt us wherever they are.”
But that plan will not include putting U.S. troops on the ground in Syria, the president promised, saying that would be a “profound mistake.” Some of his critics, especially Republicans in Congress, have pushed for a more aggressive approach to tackling the militants there.
The U.S. strategy will not amount to “the equivalent of the Iraq war,” he said, but will instead resemble the kinds of counterterrorism campaigns the nation has conducted against terrorists over the last five to seven years and consist of a broad-based national and regional coalition.
“Keep in mind this is something we know how to do. We’ve been dealing with terrorist threats for quite some time,” he said.
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SOURCE: REBECCA KAPLAN