Obama Pledges To Degrade, Destroy ISIS: Enough For Critics?

President Obama's critics have decried his failure to announce a strategy in the fight against ISIS. His comments in Estonia aren't likely to help.
Posted at 9:31 AM, Sep 03, 2014

President Obama was in Estonia Wesdnesday and although his visit was ostensibly focused on reassuring Baltic states they have American support in the face of perceived Russian aggression, he took some time to talk about ISIS. (Video via The White House)

PRESIDENT OBAMA: "Americans are repulsed by their barbarism, we will not be intimidated. Their horrific acts only unite us as a country and stiffen our resolve to take the fight to these terrorists." 

Those comments came in the wake of the killing of American journalist Steven Sotloff by ISIS militants, which has led to more calls for the president to announce a comprehensive strategy in Iraq and prompted questions like this one:

ANNE COMPTON, VIA THE WHITE HOUSE: "Will you have a full strategy now on ISIS ... and will it satisfy some of your supporters like Senator Feinstein, who fears that on this you may have been too cautious?"

The president's answer to that likely won't have satisfied many of his critics, as he spoke generally about eliminating the threat ISIS posed to the region, but added, like Al-Qaeda, there will always be remnants of the group. (Video via Euronews)

And that wasn't enough for some:

FOX BUSINESS: "Now that's obviously at odds: if you're going to destroy a terror group, they're not going to be a problem anymore. If you're going to degrade them, and not destroy them then they'll still be a problem."

Still, despite a lot of attention paid to the Senator Diane Feinstein's comments earlier in the week that the president has been too cautious, some analysts say he still has the backing of most congressional Democrats. 

PETER COOK, BLOOMBERG: "I don't think the president has lost rank and file Democrats, by and large. There is a great reticence on the part of a lot of Democrats up on Capitol Hill ... in getting the U.S. military involved beyond airstrikes."

The president's cautious approach and emphasis on the time it will take to handle the ISIS threat mirrors British Prime Minister David Cameron's stance so far of not putting soldiers on the ground. Cameron has instead focused on domestic measures to control the threat. (Video via The White House)

NORMAN SMITH, BBC: "Well what has emerged is the government is not going to allow itself to be bounced into any sort of action in response to whatever Islamic State may do ... So the message is no change."

In the press briefing, the president also pledged to continue supporting the Iraqi government and emphasized the fight against ISIS is a long-term commitment. 

This video includes an image from Getty Images.