This Monday, President Barack Obama was present at the Pentagon for a strategy session with top generals and national security advisers. After discussing some of the U.S. Army’s successes, including bombings, regaining more territory and allies joining the fight, he did acknowledged that their efforts are not enough.
The President dispatched Secretary of Defense Ash Carter to the Middle East, in order to secure more help to fight the Islamic State. Besides this, he also promised that the administration is “moving forward with a great sense of urgency”, in their fight with the world’s most dangerous terrorist group.
The fight against ISIS needs to get more intense
“All that said, we recognize that progress needs to happen faster,” Obama said. The president informed the participants about a particular problem in urban areas controlled by the Islamic State, as militants are entrenched and often use civilians as use human shields. “Even as were relentless we need to be smart, targeting ISIL surgically and with precision,” he said.
Over the past weeks, the U.S.’ strategy was to attack the oil smuggling, which is one of the most important revenue sources for the Islamic State. “As we squeeze its heart, we’ll make it harder for ISIL to pump its terror and propaganda into the rest of the world,” the President said.
Barack Obama’s comments were succeeded by a discussion with Vice President Joe Biden, four generals and four cabinet secretaries, alongside diplomats, law enforcement officials, intelligence leaders and White House advisers. Finally, John Kerry, the Secretary of State, was also present, through secure teleconference.
Obama got more vocal about terrorism in the past weeks
The meeting at the Pentagon was the first since July 6, when the President mentioned the progress in the fight against terrorism, but also mentioned that this will take a lot. Lately, after the San Bernardino shootings, Barack Obama talked about terrorism more than we were used to, but the White House has resisted calls to escalate the war.
After the meet, Barack Obama held his radio weekly address, mentioning that the administration will “move forward on all fronts” against the Islamic State and terrorism. The Pentagon also announced that their strategy is paying dividends, as Iraqi security forces have begun to retake the city of Ramadi after months of bombing ISIS. Also, in the north of the country, Kurdish peshmerga fighters seized key paths in the city of Sinjar, which links Syrian city Raqqa and Mosul, from Irak, both of them controlled by ISIS, according to USA Today.
Still, despite these successes, the Islamic State continues to control important areas from Syria and Iraq, while their number of recruits is also growing very fast.