President Barack Obama on Wednesday will announce that the United States will lead “a broad coalition” to defeat Islamic terrorists in Iraq and Syria, while also cautioning that the effort will be different from recent American-led wars in the Middle East, according to excerpts of the speech released by the White House.
The president will make clear in the prime-time address that America’s objective is to “degrade, and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and that the U.S. will not be acting alone.
“So tonight, with a new Iraqi government in place, and following consultations with allies abroad and Congress at home, I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat. Our objective is clear: we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.”
He will also caution war-weary Americans that the U.S. will not be engaging in anything similar to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and no American troops will be deployed on the ground to combat the extremists.
“But I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil. This counter-terrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground. This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years.”
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-- Andrew Rafferty