President Obama Updates Terrorist Strategy


ObamaFresh from his relative victory on climate change, though there’s much to be done on the crisis, President Obama tackled another pressing issue: ISIS.  Monday afternoon at the Pentagon, with Vice President Biden and Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter by his side, Obama threw down his strongest gauntlet on the terrorists, vowing “Our next message to them is simple: you are next.”
A number of exigencies, both foreign and domestic are dogging the president, including polls that show many Americans, some 60 percent, according to one poll, disapprove of the way he has been handling ISIS or ISIL.  But the president declared that the enemy is on the ropes in Iraq and Syria.  He said they have “lost thousands of square miles of territory” and had not won a major battle since the summer.
Even so, he expressed some disappointment that things were not moving at a faster pace in the defeat of the Jihadists.  In order to step up the campaign against them, a more meaningful coalition was necessary, he said.  To this end, “I’m sending Defense Secretary Ash Carter to the Middle East today to encourage such a response.”
It was a short speech and he took no questions from reporters.  He also announced that Homeland Security has been ratcheted up in the wake of the attacks in San Bernardino.
“As we squeeze its heart,” he said of the terrorists, “it will make it harder for ISIL to pump its propaganda and terror to the world.”
Meanwhile, there was far less disappointment on the agreement on climate change, which still awaits approval from other member nations that attended the summit in Paris.
Beyond that is the matter of how any reduction in greenhouse gases emission from the burning of fossil fuels that dispenses carbon dioxide in the air will be enforced or how any measurement of improvement will be obtained.
But getting an agreement from so many nations is a major step toward halting global warming that endangers the planet.
“We’ve only got one planet, and it must be saved,” Obama said, praising the deal in which he has been among the leaders.