Just one day before the 13th anniversary of the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, President Obama addressed the nation regarding the threat of ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
He stated what we have already learned in recent months via the media, ISIL poses a clear threat to the people of Iraq and Syria, and to the broader Middle East, as well as U.S. persons, allies and interests in the region. Left unchecked, ISIL could pose a growing threat beyond the region, including to the U.S. homeland.
Obama continued to explain the U.S. plans to weaken the threat: immediate action to protect Americans in Iraq and to prevent large-scale humanitarian catastrophes, including by conducting over 150 successful airstrikes in Iraq. These strikes have kept our personnel and facilities in Baghdad and Erbil safe, killed ISIL fighters, destroyed ISIL equipment, protected Iraqi critical infrastructure, and broken ISIL sieges against an Iraqi city and civilians trapped on a mountain. Along with dozens of international partners, we have provided material support for Iraqi forces to support their fight against ISIL. Our strikes and resupply efforts have enabled Iraqi forces to take the fight to ISIL on the ground, reclaim key territory, and saved thousands of innocent lives.
As the president explained, the United States will carry out a comprehensive strategy to defeat ISIL and deny them safe-haven.That strategy harnesses all elements of national power and features the following core elements:
Supporting Effective Governance in Iraq
Denying ISIL Safe-Haven
Enhancing Intelligence Collection on ISIL
Disrupting ISIL’s Finances
Exposing ISIL’s True Nature
Disrupting the Flow of Foreign Fighters