President Obama’s Strategy Against the Islamic State

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Thirteen years ago today, planes commandeered by terrorists slammed into the World Trade Center towers in New York, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania. Nearly three thousand people died in the attacks. Since those unspeakable events, the US has been at war in one capacity or another, fighting against terrorist organizations that know no borders and attach to no state.

Over the past few months, the group known as Islamic State — or ISIS — has become the major threat to any hope of stability in the region. As recently as two weeks ago, President Obama said he did not have a strategy for dealing with the group’s tentacle in Syria. In last night’s White House address to the nation, he outlined a plan that includes military airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, plus a redoubled intelligence effort and assistance to those who are fighting against ISIS, which the president refers to as ISIL. "If left unchecked, these terrorists could pose a growing threat beyond that region, including to the United States," said Obama. "While we have not yet detected specific plotting against our homeland, ISIL leaders have threatened America and our allies."

Today on the program: a review of that plan, the funding issues it faces in Congress, and what it signals for a war-weary nation that nevertheless appears to widely support military action against this organization.




Warren Olney