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Obama: "You Can't Contain" ISIS, We Will Dismantle Them Systemically

The president compared the strategy to the one used against al-Qaeda.

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President Obama said Friday that the U.S. goal in combatting ISIS militants in Iraq would be to "dismantle" them systematically, similar the strategy used to combat al-Qaeda.

"You can't contain an organization that is running roughshod through that much territory, causing that much havoc, displacing that many people. Killing that many innocents. Enslaving that many women," the president said at the NATO Wales Summit. "The goal has to be to dismantle them"

Likening his strategy to combat ISIS to the one used against al-Qaeda, the president said the United States would "systemically degrade their capabilities" to destroy their ability to conduct terrorist attacks.

"And if you look at what happened with al-Qaeda, in the Fatah, where their primary base was, you initially push them back," he said. "You systemically degrade their capabilities. You narrow their scope of action. You slowly shrink the space, the territory, that they may control. You take out their leadership and, over time, they are not able to conduct the same kinds of terrorist attacks as they once could."

"What we can accomplish is to dismantle this network, this force, that has claimed to control this much territory, so that they can't do us harm. And that's going to be our objective," he continued.

Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Andrew Kaczynski at

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