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Obama To Speak Wednesday On U.S. Strategy Against Islamic State

Citing a broad threat posed by the Islamic State, President Obama said Sunday that he'll deliver a national address Wednesday to discuss the U.S. approach to fighting the group that has beheaded two American journalists this summer.

"This is not going to be an announcement about U.S. ground troops," Obama tells Chuck Todd on NBC's Meet the Press. "This is not the equivalent of the Iraq war. What this is, is similar to the kinds of counter-terrorist campaigns that we've been engaging in consistently over the last five, six, seven years."

Obama stressed that U.S. agencies "have not seen any immediate intelligence about threats to the homeland" from the group. He also said the U.S. has built an international coalition to help deal with the extremist group.

The U.S. approach will include airstrikes and strategic advice in Iraq, Obama said, adding that the plan also has economic and political components.

"What I want people to understand, though," the president said, "is that over the course of months, we are going to be able to not just blunt the momentum of ISIL – we are going to systematically degrade their capabilities, we're going to shrink the territory that they control, and ultimately we are going to defeat them."

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Bill Chappell
Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.