By Jordan Dalton
In an address to the nation on Wednesday, September 10th, President Obama outlined plans for dealing with the increasingly threatening Middle Eastern terrorist group known as ISIS.
The president presented a four-step plan to not only defend against ISIS, but to move further into the offensive and “defeat them.”
This came shortly after similar comments made by Secretary of State John Kerry last week at the NATO Summit in Wales. “There is no contain policy for [ISIS]… leaving them in some capacity intact anywhere would leave a cancer in place that will ultimately come back to haunt us,” said the leader of the NATO anti-ISIS coalition.
The president plans to expand upon U.S. air strikes in Iraq and deploy 475 service members to help assist forces currently fighting ISIS. Air campaigns will also be permitted to cross the Syrian border, which was previously avoided due to civil unrest within the country.
President Obama insisted this would not lead to another “ground war in Iraq.”
“It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil.”
ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, sometimes known as IS or ISIL, is a Sunni jihadist group and self-declared caliphate with plans to control most of the predominantly Muslim regions of the world. Its current territorial claims include significant portions of central and northern Iraq and stretch into northern Syria.
The group began as an entity within Al-Queda. “The fact that there are Sunni insurgents in Syria and Northern Iraq is not news,” said Indiana Army National Guard Col. Dave Vesper.
ISIS gained worldwide news coverage in mid august after the beheading of American journalist James Foley, which was recorded and posted to video sharing site YouTube.
Only days earlier the group was deemed responsible for the massacre and abduction of dozens of Yazidis in the Iraqi village of Kawju.
A second American journalist, Steven Sotloff, was publicly beheaded by ISIS earlier this month.
This has led many Americans to view ISIS as an immediate threat. The U.S. will “hunt down terrorists who threaten our country wherever they are,” said President Obama during his address.
The U.S. is also hopeful that the Iraqi and Syrian governments will be able to suppress domestic ISIS operations. “If Iraq can form a government that gets the support of its people, it should be able to take care of ISIS in Iraq,” said Vesper. “But that’s a big ‘if.’”
Along with its counter-terrorism efforts, the president says the U.S. will continue to provide humanitarian aid for those affected by ISIS’s genocidal attacks, such as Shia Muslims, Iraqi Christians, and those of the Yazidi faith.
President Obama has not specified a timeline for his four-step plan. However, last week in Wales, Kerry alluded to hopes that ISIS will be destroyed within three years.
“We’re convinced that in the days ahead we have the ability to destroy ISIL. It may take a year, it may take two years, it may take three years. But we’re determined to make it happen.”
Image Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2013/09/10/president-obama-addresses-nation-syria