Outgoing President Barack Obama plans to defend his record in fighting terrorism and pushing back the Daesh today in a speech to US Central Command (CENTCOM) in Tampa bay in the state of Florida, the White House said.
During Obama’s two terms in office, Daesh expanded from minor obscurity to seize more than half of the territories of Iraq and Syria after the United States withdrew most of its forces from Iraq and also tried to topple the legitimate President Bashar Assad in Syria.
Obama’s years in office also saw Daesh and other Islamist groups establish themselves strongly in Libya and spread widely through sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere.
“We have long planned for him to give a speech to wrap up his national security record… and thank people… from Central Command and Special Operations Command,” Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters in a conference call on Monday. Obama planned to sum up his record of the last eight years and review his policies and developments in the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Rhodes said. “He will talk about how the threat has evolved… He will review the progress in the counter-ISIL [Daesh] campaign taking back half the territory ISIL controlled in 2014 [and] the manner in which this approach constituted a break from the previous administration,” Rhodes added.