There is "only one option" for addressing the international threat of Islamic State militants, President Barack Obama said Wednesday.
Obama said the U.S. must be prepared to push for the ultimate destruction of the group (also known as ISIS or ISIL). The president addressed the nation after sending legislation to Congress seeking authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) against the militants.
"With vile groups like this there is only one option," Obama said. "With our allies and partners we are going to degrade and ultimately destroy this terrorist group."
The request, which the president formally submitted earlier in the day, would seek to legalize a campaign against the militant organization for up to three years.
The president stressed that he was not asking for the authorization of another ground war in the region, but the U.S. military needs to be prepared for "unforeseen circumstances" in the fight against ISIS. He gave the example of intelligence suggesting militant leaders were gathering at one location, and so he would want to have authorization to send in special forces.