WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – President Obama will ask Congress to authorize more aggressive measures to fight Islamic militants in Syria and Iraq during the State of the Union.
“In Iraq and Syria, American leadership, including our military power, is stopping ISIL’s advance,’’ the president will way, according to early transcripts given to the media. “Instead of getting dragged into another ground war in the Middle East, we are leading a broad coalition, including Arab nations, to degrade and ultimately destroy this terrorist group.’’
While most of the speech is expected to focus on domestic economic issues, President Obama will also mention North Korea, believed by the FBI to be behind the recent hacking attack on Sony.
“No foreign nation, no hacker, should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets, or invade the privacy of American families, especially our kids. We are making sure our government integrates intelligence to combat cyberthreats, just as we have done to combat terrorism.’’
Even before the speech, Republicans have been hinting they will find areas to fight back against the president’s proposed agenda.
“What to hope to hear tonight is an emphasis on things we can agree on,”Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told the Washington Post. He called for a speech “that brings us together and doesn’t push us apart’’ and criticized the president’s plan to impose new taxes on the wealthy.