He may not have said it in so many words — but after reading headline upon headline, analysis after analysis — one can reasonably conclude that, yes, President Barack Obama has declared war on the Islamic State. And the president did that last night in a speech that sounded remarkably like one that would have been given by the man the Obama administration has blamed time and again for so many problems — President George W. Bush.
On this anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America by Muslim radicals, President Obama is pursuing what could well be described as a “pre-emptive” war against ISIL/ISIS.
From the Jerusalem Post: “Obama declares open war on Islamic State.”
International Business Times: “Obama declares war against Islamic State, authorizes airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.”
The National Journal: “A president who ran promising peace cautiously declares war.”
Even the New York Times concedes: “New military campaign extends a legacy of war.”
Whether he can wage this war in a more effective way, crushing a jihadist group while minimizing American casualties, could be the central national security test of his final two years in office — and the first one confronting his successor. Mr. Obama acknowledged that “it will take time to eradicate a cancer” like ISIS, but gave no estimates.
From the Washington Post analysis of Obama’s prime-time speech Wednesday night:
Nearly six years into a presidency devoted to ending U.S. wars in the Muslim world, President Obama faced the nation Wednesday night to explain why he has decided to engage in a new one.
Obama did not describe his authorization of direct military action to defeat the Islamic State terror group as a conventional war. To the contrary, in a prime-time address from the White House, he sharply contrasted his use of targeted but limited American force with the large-scale air-and-ground invasions launched by his predecessor, George W. Bush.
A key question now is whether this newly declared war-time president — the same world leader who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize after his rhetoric about ending war — will face a big fight in Congress over the constitutional authorization of enhanced and prolonged military involvement in the Middle East.
A short summary of the main action elements Obama laid out in his speech is found in the video clip above.
H/T: The Daily Signal
BCN editor’s note: This article first appeared at Western Journalism.