At the Pentagon, President Obama delivered an update on his war against Islamic State terrorism, saying that the operation would take time to defeat the terrorist organization.
“This will not be quick, this is a long-term campaign,” he asserted, describing ISIS as “nimble” and infiltrated with civilians across the Middle East.
Obama did not announce any major shifts in his strategy, but reminded reporters that the fight was “not simply a military effort.”
“Ideologies are not defeated with guns, they are defeated by better ideas, a more attractive and more compelling vision,” he said.
Obama warned Americans of the increasing threat of individual acts of terror by lone wolf terrorists, but warned against targeting the region of Islam.
“Our efforts to counter violent extremism must not target any one community because of their faith or background – including patriotic Muslim Americans who are keeping our country safe,” he said.
But he admitted that ISIL was targeting Muslims.
“We also have to acknowledge that ISIL has been particularly effective at reaching out to and recruiting vulnerable people around the world including here in the United States and they are targeting Muslim communities around the world,” he said.
When asked by reporters if he was considering the use of American ground troops to defeat ISIS, he insisted that it was not under consideration.
“If we try to do everything ourselves all across the Middle East, all across North Africa, we’ll be playing ‘Whack-a-mole’ and there will be a whole lot of unintended consequences that ultimately will make us less secure,” he said.