Obama: ISIL Doesn’t Threaten US Existence

The US must remake the international system built after World War II and acknowledge that “we’re threatened less by evil empires and more by failing states,” President Barack Obama said Jan. 12 in his last State of the Union address. The No. 1 priority under this new system, he said, must be protecting Americans and going after terrorist networks. “The United States of America is the most powerful nation on Earth. Period. It’s not even close,” he told the joint session of Congress, noting that the US spends more on its military “than the next eight nations combined.” And while Obama acknowledged al Qaeda and ISIL are a threat to Americans, “they do not threaten our national existence,” he said. “That’s the story ISIL wants to tell; that’s the kind of propaganda they use to recruit. … We just need to call them what they are: killers and fanatics who have to be rooted out, hunted down, and destroyed.” Obama touted the coalition that has performed nearly 10,000 airstrikes, and said, “we are taking out their leadership, their oil, their training camps, and their weapons.” However, he said, “If this Congress is serious about winning this war… you should finally authorize the use of military force against ISIL.” (Read the full speech.)