By the time President Obama delivered his prime time speech this evening, he had already effectively softened the news of his decision to launch further military air strikes against Islamic State terrorists in both Iraq and Syria.
Obama announced, however, that he would send 475 additional troops overseas, to help the fight against ISIS terrorists, repeating that his mission was to degrade and destroy them.
But Obama cautiously asserted that any proposed actions “will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil” — which was a stronger position than his earlier promise to keep American boots off the ground.
Obama began his speech touting his success as commander-in-chief in keeping America safe from terrorism and effectively drawing the United States out of prolonged engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan. He recalled the strike to kill Osama bin Laden.
But he did admit that that a new group of terrorists continued to threaten the world through ISIS.
Obama also unexpectedly called for Congress to pass additional authority and funding to conduct further operations in Syria, effectively punting the controversial decision to Capitol Hill.
At one point, however, Obama struck a note of hope and optimism in his speech about the current economic strength in the country, which allowed America to lead the world in the fight against terror.
As a Senator and a presidential candidate, Obama frequently complained that expensive foreign entanglements overseas were conducted at the expense of domestic spending at home.