During a conversation with members of the United States military, President Obama explained why he was doing more to bring additional Syrian refugees into the United States, telling service members it was “not just a European problem” but “a world problem.”
“I made certain to send through every agency that we’ve got to do our part, first of all in taking our share of refugees,” he said, describing the additional number of 10,000 refugees announced by the White House earlier this week was a “floor” of what he expected in the future.
Obama said that he was deeply involved with the larger international diplomatic effort to help keep refugees safe, praising the efforts of the European Union to harbor more of them as the fled Syria.
More diplomacy was needed, he explained, to fix the political problems in Syria but that refugees would continue to flee their countries for a better life elsewhere.
“Unfortunately, we can anticipate that refugees will be an ongoing problem for decades to come and the reason is because there are too many states that are not doing well by their people,” he said.
Obama warned that climate change would cause even more refugees and migration, contributing to more global chaos, calling for an international response to the threat.
“I just came back from Alaska where you are seeing glaciers melt rapidly and as temperatures rise … this will become a national security challenge,” he said.