President Barack Obama was confronted Monday by an NPR reporter who asked during a sit-down interview why the public doesn't have much confidence in the White House's current strategy to combat the Islamic State.
"What is the public missing about your strategy?" NPR "Morning Edition" host Steve Inskeep asked. "And I say that simply because, according to polls, you don't have much approval for it."
"Well, I think what's fair is is that post-Paris you had a saturation of news about the horrible attack there. And ISIL combines viciousness with very savvy media operations. And as a consequence if you've been watching television for the last month, all you've been seeing, all you've been hearing about is these guys with masks or black flags who are potentially coming to get you," Obama said.
He continued, "So I understand why people are concerned about it. This is a serious situation. But, it's important for people to recognize that the power, the strength of the United States and its allies are not threatened by an organization like this."
"In the same way that Al Qaeda was able to carry out one spectacular attack, we ended up making significant changes to harden homeland defenses," he added. "It then took a while for us to ultimately snuff out core Al Qaeda...and there are still lingering remnants. But at no point was there a sense that in fact it could do catastrophic damage to us."
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