Strong words (but the end about how good the US is doing seems out of place for a war speech). I am glad he is asking Congress for support though I still question that he has the authority to execute a long term campaign. Sixty days under the war powers act but he is going to need a new authorization to execute a long term campaign. He should ask for and get an authorization for the use of military force.
However destruction and a counterterrorism campaign are not compatible. Characterizing this as a counterterrorism campaign and conducting a counterterrorism campaign is not going to lead to the destruction of ISIL/IS. This is not going to be Somalia and Yemen (except maybe for the length of operations - but we certainly have not destroyed AL Shabaab and AQAP in Somalia and Yemen to date). The myopic focus on counterterrorism is going to hurt this. It seems like false front simply to deal with the American people's war weariness. Counterterrorism campaigns do not lead to the destruction of large enemy forces. The problem in short is that this strategy does not have balance and coherency among ends, ways and means. The end - destruction of ISIL/IS is not likely to be achieved by the way - a counterterrorism campaign. We have a mismatch in ends and means. But I am afraid that the President and his advisors are enamored with lure of counterterrorism as evidenced in this excerpt. Iraq is not Somalia and Yemen or Abbottabad.
As Commander-in-Chief, my highest priority is the security of the American people. Over the last several years, we have consistently taken the fight to terrorists who threaten our country. We took out Osama bin Laden and much of al Qaeda’s leadership in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We’ve targeted al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen, and recently eliminated the top commander of its affiliate in Somalia. We’ve done so while bringing more than 140,000 American troops home from Iraq, and drawing down our forces in Afghanistan, where our combat mission will end later this year. Thanks to our military and counterterrorism professionals, America is safer.......This counter-terrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist, using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground. This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years. And it is consistent with the approach I outlined earlier this year: to use force against anyone who threatens America’s core interests, but to mobilize partners wherever possible to address broader challenges to international order.