Obama: Fight Against Islamic State ’Will Not Be Quick’
WHITE HOUSE / PENTAGON—
U.S. President Barack Obama says the fight against Islamic State radicals will be long, hard-fought and require more than American military might to win.
“This will not be quick. This is a long-term campaign,” the president said Monday during a rare visit to the Pentagon, where he met with his national security team. “It will take time to root them out, and doing so must be the job of local forces on the ground with training and air support from our coalition.”
“There will be periods of progress, but there will also be some setbacks,” added Obama, who has pledged to neutralize and defeat Islamic State militants without dragging America into another ground war.
The president, who once conceded the U.S. lacks a “complete strategy” to battle IS, met with Defense Secretary Ash Carter and top military commanders and intelligence officials. The gathering followed a weekend of intensified airstrikes by a U.S.-led coalition against the militants, who have taken control of large swaths of northern and western Iraq and eastern Syria. The coalition conducted 38 strikes, with nearly half directed around the self-proclaimed IS capital of Raqqa.