Time: 9:40 p.m. CEST Update:11:00 p.m. CEST
President Barack Obama held his last speech on national security issues at the MacDill air base to the service members and stressed that, “We build a counterterrorism capability that can sustain any pressure against any terrorist network in South Asia that can threaten United States of America.”
Obama addressed the issue of Islamic State group and said that, “Our intelligence resources we could better understand the enemy. Then we took the fight both in Iraq and Syria, not with American battalions, but with local forces backed by out equipment, advisors and our special forces.”
Obama said the U.S. and coalition partners hit ISIL “with over 16.000 airstrikes, we have equipped and trained tens of thousands partners on the ground. ISIL lost al most half of its territory, control of major population centers.”
Obama said that the Congress should “at least have courage to make clear where they stand, not on the sidelines, not on the cable TV shows, but by fulfilling constitutional duties and authorizing the use of force against the threats that we face today.”
Obama pointed out that he would be first president with two mandates in which “we have war.” But, Obama also spoke about returning of the American troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The President also said that when making counterterrorism efforts, “we have to make sure that changes and how we address terrorists are not abused.”
Obama, who faced several leaks by the works of the national security agencies said that, “This is way we made an extensive reform how we get intelligence around the world, increasing oversight, placing new restrictions on governments to retained and use certain communications, that people trust us, cooperate with us.”
He defends the measures, but pointed out, “We do not use our power to indiscriminately read emails and phone calls, just target folks who try to do us harm.”
Obama talked on civil liberties and national security. “By maintaining these civil liberties, we sustain the confidence of American people, we get the cooperation of our allies more regularly. Protecting liberty is something that we do for all Americans,” Obama said.
Explaining the world in which terrorists “wants to cast themselves as vanguards of the World Order,” Obama said, “They are not, they are not, they are thugs, murderers and they should be treated that way. Fascism threatened to overrun entire world, we had to wage total war in response.”
President Barack Obama defends his policies on counterterrorism, which protected Americans from the international threats on his last speech on national security issues. Obama travelled to MacDill air base, the home of the United States Special Operations Command and Central Command.
Obama “will once again be reiterating that our greatest strength against terrorism is who we are as a country, our values, our vision of the world, and also the world that we’ve built as Americans – this international order we’ve built, where we have alliances and institutions and the rule of law”, said Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser and speechwriter who has been perhaps Obama’s most trusted foreign policy aide.