President Obama addressed the mission to degrade and destroy the Islamic State in remarks today at the Pentagon. "Our strikes continue alongside our partners. It remains a difficult mission," said the commander in chief.
Obama continued: "As I’ve indicated from the start, this is not something that is going to be solved overnight. The good news is, is that there is a broad-based consensus not just in the region but among nations of the world that ISIL is a threat to world peace, security and order, that their barbaric behavior has to be dealt with. And we’re confident that we will be able to continue to make progress in partnership with the Iraqi government, because ultimately it’s going to be important for them to be able to, with our help, secure their own country and to find the kind of political accommodations that are necessary for long-term prosperity in the region."
The president also addressed the military's mission of taking on Ebola:
We had a chance to talk about the fight against Ebola, and I got a briefing from General Rodriguez. Our military is essentially building an infrastructure that does not exist in order to facilitate the transport of personnel and equipment and supplies to deal with this deadly epidemic and disease. And we are doing it in a way that ensures our men and women in uniform are safe. That has been my top priority, and I’ve instructed folks we’re not going to compromise the health and safety of our armed services.
But what’s true is, we have unique capabilities that nobody else has. And as a consequence of us getting in early and building that platform, we’re now able to leverage resources from other countries and move with speed and effectiveness to curb that epidemic.
And, lastly, Obama addressed the "draconian" military defense cuts. "Finally, we had a chance to talk briefly about defense budget and reforms. We have done some enormous work, and I want to thank everybody sitting around this table to continue to make our forces leaner, meaner, more effective, more tailored to the particular challenges that we’re going to face in the 21st century," he said.
"But we also have to make sure that Congress is working with us to avoid, for example, some of the Draconian cuts that are called for in sequestration, and to make sure that if we're asking this much of our armed forces, that they’ve got the equipment and the technology that's necessary for them to be able to succeed at their mission, and that we're supporting their families at a time when, even after ending one war and winding down another, they continue to have enormous demands placed on them each and every day."