When the White House announces that the president of the United States is going to the Pentagon to make a statement, I tend to expect something big … maybe really big.
President Obama made a statement today, but I must say it left me wishing for more.
It didn’t come.
The president, though, did restate his anti-Islamic State war strategy but did so with a good bit more vigor.
It looked like a do-over from his brief speech a week ago that left many Americans — even some Democrats who normally support the president — wondering when the commander in chief is going to get seriously worked up over ISIL’s reign of terror.
The numbers add up to significant damage being inflicted on ISIL, the president said. Here’s part of what he said:
“We are hitting ISIL harder than ever. Coalition aircraft, our fighters, bombers and drones have been increasing the pace of airstrikes, nearly 9,000 as of today,” Obama said, adding that ISIL has lost roughly 40 percent of the territory it once held in Iraq.
I happen to agree with Obama that we need not send a huge ground force back into Iraq to fight the Islamic State.
To be honest, though, I’m waiting for evidence that the strategy we’re pursuing is actually forcing ISIL’s retreat. The president said we’ve retaken a large percentage of ISIL territory, but then we see reports of ISIL scoring more battlefield victories.
I’m going to continue hoping that one day we’ll be able to hear a presidential statement — whether it’s the current one or the individual who succeeds him — that ISIL has, in fact, been destroyed.
However, I will not hold my breath.