Obama to Visit Pentagon Monday for Islamic State group Briefing
By Aaron Mehta
ARLINGTON, VA - JULY 6: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks after meeting with members of his national security team concerning ISIS at the Pentagon July 6, 2015 in Arlington, Virginia. From left, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, Commander of U.S. Africa Command Gen. David Rodriguez, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey. Obama announced the U.S. military is making progress against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. (Photo by Drew Angerer - Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will visit the Pentagon Monday for a meeting with top defense officials and members of the US National Security Council.
The visit will focus heavily on the campaign to defeat the Islamic State group, commonly known as ISIS or ISIL, and whether different steps are needed to control the group in Syria and Iraq, according to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.
"The President will be here in the Pentagon on Monday, and he'll hear not only from us here in the defense department, his senior commanders in the field, about the military dimensions of the campaign to defeat ISIL, but, also, this is a National Security Council Meeting," Carter said at a Friday afternoon press briefing.
"So the secretary of state and representatives of the intelligence community, law enforcement, homeland security — all of the parts that we know are necessary to protect our people and strike at our enemies will be involved," Carter said. "And I expect him to both hear what we're doing, and continue to say what he's told me and [Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joseph F.e Dunford Jr.], certainly for the military campaign, which is [that] he wants us to continue to come to him with proposals for ways that we can strengthen the campaign, consistent with our overall strategic approach."
Obama's visit to the Pentagon is the second of 2015, following up on a visit from July. He will make a statement to the press after his meetings.
Carter's comments came following a meeting with United Kingdom Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon, during which the two men discussed the anti-ISIL Islamic State group operation. Fallon noted in comments to the press that the UK has more than "doubled" its daily operations against the Islamic State group ISIS since Parliament voted to allow strikes in Syria.
Fallon pointedly argued against the idea that operating against the Islamic State group ISIS will open up the US and UK to attacks such as those carried out in Paris or San Bernardino.
"There will be plots against both our countries as we take the fight to [the Islamic State groupISIL]… but we must not allow the idea to take hold that standing up to this terrorism makes our homeland security any worse," Fallon said. "That is a council of despair, and simply wrong. So we must defend our values as much as our streets and remember these people don't hate us because of what we do, but because of who we are."
Aaron Mehta was deputy editor and senior Pentagon correspondent for Defense News, covering policy, strategy and acquisition at the highest levels of the Defense Department and its international partners.