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President Barack Obama Weekly Address September 20, 2014 (Video/Trascript )
President Barack Obama Weekly Address The White House September 20, 2014
Over the past week, the United States has continued to
lead our friends and allies in the strategy to degrade and ultimately
destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL. As I’ve said before, our
intelligence community has not yet detected specific plots from these
terrorists against America. Right now, they pose a threat to the people
of Iraq, Syria, and the broader Middle East. But its leaders have
threatened America and our allies. And if left unchecked, they could
pose a growing threat to the United States.
So, last month, I gave the order for our military to begin
taking targeted action against ISIL. Since then, American pilots have
flown more than 170 airstrikes against these terrorists in Iraq. And
France has now joined us in these airstrikes.
Going forward, we won’t hesitate to take action against
these terrorists in Iraq or in Syria. But this is not America’s fight
alone. I won’t commit our troops to fighting another ground war in
Iraq, or in Syria. It’s more effective to use our capabilities to help
partners on the ground secure their own country’s futures. We will use
our air power. We will train and equip our partners. We will advise and
we will assist. And we’ll lead a broad coalition of nations who have a
stake in this fight. This isn’t America vs. ISIL. This is the people
of that region vs. ISIL. It’s the world vs ISIL.
We’ve been working to secure bipartisan support for this
strategy here at home, because I believe that we are strongest as a
nation when the President and Congress work together. We’ve been
consulting closely with Congress. And last week, Secretary of State
Kerry, Secretary of Defense Hagel, and military leaders worked to gain
their support for our strategy.
A majority of Democrats and a majority of Republicans in
both the House and the Senate have now approved a first, key part of our
strategy by wide margins. They’ve given our troops the authority they
need to train Syrian opposition fighters so that they can fight ISIL in
Syria. Those votes sent a powerful signal to the world: Americans are
united in confronting this danger. And I hope Congress continues to
make sure our troops get what they need to get the job done.
Meanwhile, because we’re leading the right way, more
nations are joining our coalition. Over 40 countries have offered to
help the broad campaign against ISIL so far – from training and
equipment, to humanitarian relief, to flying combat missions. And this
week, at the United Nations, I’ll continue to rally the world against
This is an effort that America has the unique ability to
lead. When the world is threatened; when the world needs help; it calls
on America. And we call on our troops. Whether it’s to degrade and
ultimately destroy a group of terrorists, or to contain and combat a
threat like the Ebola epidemic in Africa; we ask a lot of our troops.
But while our politics may be divided at times, the American people
stand united around supporting our troops and their families. This is a
moment of American leadership. Thanks to them, it is a moment we will
meet. Thank you.