Charles Krauthammer this evening discussed President Barack Obama’s planned speech tonight on his ISIS strategy.

The administration released an advanced excerpt, which read:

So tonight, with a new Iraqi government in place, and following consultations with allies abroad and Congress at home, I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat. Our objective is clear: we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.

But I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil. This counter-terrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground. This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years.


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Krauthammer said, “If he thinks that Yemen and Somalia are comparable to ISIS, I mean he’s living on the moon.” He said the real comparison is to the original Afghan campaign, with a small number of U.S. boots on the ground and local militias supporting American troops, as well as an overwhelming air campaign.

He also remarked on the “broad coalition” remark, noting that so far, only nine countries – all NATO, except Australia – are part of the alliance.

“Are any of them gonna put soldiers on the ground?” he asked. “George W. Bush, in Iraq – the one that Democrats call the unilateralist, the one that took us in alone – 37 countries with boots on the ground."


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Later, he said of the president, “Given his history of ambivalence – especially in Afghanistan, where he announces a surge and in the same sentence announces a definite withdrawal date – this is a president who is being reluctantly drawn into conducting a campaign.”

Krauthammer said that the campaign will fail if it’s not serious.

“And I worry that we should entrust something so serious to a president so political and ambivalent.”


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“We’ll see if this is a president who can sustain a campaign […] in which his heart is only half in it,” he said.

Watch part one above and part two below.