President Obama will give a speech next week outlining his strategy for taking on the threat posed by ISIS, ABC News has learned.
The president will use the speech to outline the nature of the threat – serious, but not an imminent threat to the homeland – and the strategy for confronting it.
It is not expected that he will make any major new announcements such as a decision on Syria air strikes, but he will describe the efforts he is already taking, including air strikes in Iraq and building an international coalition.
In other words, the president wants to leave no doubt he does in fact have a strategy for taking on ISIS despite his words two weeks ago – “We don’t have a strategy yet” – when asked about taking on ISIS in Syria.
The president will also meet with Congressional leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell from the Senate, and John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi from the House on Tuesday to talk about ISIS and begin stepped up consultations with Congress. The following week, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey will be testifying before Congress.
There is no timeline for a presidential decision on ordering airstrikes on ISIS targets in Syria, and it sounds like such a decision is unlikely to happen before late September at the earliest.
Of course, none of this rules out an isolated strike on a high-value target in Syria along the lines of the strike in Somalia on Monday that killed al-Shabab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane along with two other high ranking members of the terror group.