President Barack Obama conducted a primetime television address Wednesday in an effort to outline his plan for dealing with the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), and to give hope to the public that his administration has a strong and feasible plan to deal with the terrorist.
To start things off, the President established who the enemy is by explaining what the ISIL, ISIS, or Islamic State, represents.
"Now let's make two things clear: ISIL is not "Islamic." No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL's victims have been Muslim, The President said. "And ISIL is certainly not a state. It was formerly al Qaeda's affiliate in Iraq, and has taken advantage of sectarian strife and Syria's civil war to gain territory on both sides of the Iraq-Syrian border. It is recognized by no government, nor the people it subjugates. ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple. And it has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way."
He went on to outline how the United States "will lead a broad coalition to roll back" the "terrorist threat" posed by ISIL.
"Our objective is clear: we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy."
He made it clear he was not getting America into another ground war, and he defined four parts of the mission in Iraq and Syria, as it is in 2014.
"I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan," Obama said. "It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil."
President Obama said his plan would involve 4 major parts, and he explained how he believed it would be enough to "degrade and ultimately destroy" the threat from ISIL.
He said America and partners would continue airstrikes against the ISIL threat, and he said we would also increase our support to forces fighting the terrorist on the ground.
"I deployed several hundred American service members to Iraq to assess how we can best support Iraqi Security Forces," he said, referencing nearly 1000 advisers already on the ground in Baghdad and Northern Iraq. "Now that those teams have completed their work - and Iraq has formed a government - we will send an additional 475 service members to Iraq."
He said that America would also continue to draw on our substantial counterterrorism capabilities to prevent ISIL attacks.
"Working with our partners, we will redouble our efforts to cut off its funding; improve our intelligence; strengthen our defenses; counter its warped ideology; and stem the flow of foreign fighters into - and out of - the Middle East."
The final part of his outlined plan was to continue to offer humanitarian assistance to civilians struggling at the hands of the terrorist.
"When we helped prevent the massacre of civilians trapped on a distant mountain, here's what one of them said, 'We owe our American friends our lives. Our children will always remember that there was someone who felt our struggle and made a long journey to protect innocent people, '" the president continued.
The President realizes that the recent beheadings of two American journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff, by the Islamic State has moved public opinion toward taking some sort of military action, but most seem to want to stay out of another major ground offensive.
Obama has been criticized for acknowledging last month that his administration did not yet have a strategy for military strikes against the militants in Syria, and had no clear cut approach to deal with ISIL in general. In Wednesday's speech, the president sought to demonstrate a concrete plan of action for countering the immediate threat and defeating the militant group in the long run.
"Our own safety - our own security - depends upon our willingness to do what it takes to defend this nation, and uphold the values that we stand for - timeless ideals that will endure long after those who offer only hate and destruction have been vanquished from the Earth," the President concluded.