President Obama Lays Out His ISIS Strategy

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The President lays out his strategy to take on ISIS. Will it work? We’ll look at the key factors in America’s new military commitment.

President Barack Obama addresses the nation from the Cross Hall in the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014.  (AP/Saul Loeb, Pool)
President Barack Obama addresses the nation from the Cross Hall in the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. (AP/Saul Loeb, Pool)

Talk about a speech that this president never wanted to give.  That had to be it last night.  The man who called the Iraq War “dumb,” who pushed relentlessly to get out, coming before the nation to announce US forces headed back in, for years.  Not in a repeat of the Iraq War, President Obama insisted.  Something different.  But a strategy that puts America front and center again, in a vicious fight, in a political and religious tangle.  Will it work to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic State?  This hour, On Point:  President Obama’s new battle plan in Iraq and beyond.
- Tom Ashbrook


Mark Mazzetti, Pulitzer Prize-winning national security correspondent for the New York Times. (@MarkMazzettiNYT)

Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), Republican Representative of Georgia’s 9th District. Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on The Middle East and North Africa. (@RepDougCollins)

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), Democratic Representative of California’s 30th district. Senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade. (@BradSherman)

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Text of President Obama's Speech (via The Wire): "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."

TIME: Obama Says U.S. Will Bomb ISIS in Syria, Train Rebels - "President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he will expand the U.S. air campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), lifting restrictions on American strikes in Iraq and for the first time authorizing direct attacks against the militant group in Syria."

New York Magazine: Congressional Reaction to Obama’s ISIS Speech Was Mixed, Even Within Each Party - "While you can usually predict a lawmaker's response from the 'R' or 'D' next to their name, when Obama was considering conducting airstrikes in Syria a year ago, we saw some unusual divisions in Congress, with the Republicans split between hawks and isolationists, and some antiwar Democrats refusing to support the president. The reactions this time around were just as unpredictable."

This program aired on September 11, 2014.


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