President Obama to Tell TV Audience His Plan to 'Destroy' Islamic State

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President Barack Obama answers a question at a September 5, 2014, news conference at the conclusion of this month’s NATO summit in Wales. Larry Downing/Reuters

President Barack Obama will announce his plans to "degrade and ultimately destroy" the Sunni Muslim jihadists of the Islamic State, the group commonly known as ISIS, in a prime-time speech scheduled for Wednesday night.

Obama will outline a two-pronged approach that includes using U.S. military action and providing increased support for Syrian troops and the Iraqi government already fighting ISIS.

His plan to rid the region of ISIS is more welcome to Americans than his proposal to bomb Syrian president Bashar Assad's forces for using chemical weapons against his own people a year ago, a threat that failed to find favor among either the American people or Congress.

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll published Wednesday shows that nearly two-thirds of Americans support U.S. military action against ISIS, while only 13 percent say that confronting the group, which is waging a terror campaign across northern Iraq and Syria, is not in the nation's interest.

Of those who support U.S. military intervention, 40 percent want to limit the attacks on ISIS to airstrikes. The Obama administration has already launched more than a hundred airstrikes over Iraq. But 34 percent of Americans are willing to support ground troops as well as airstrikes, in what The Wall Street Journal calls "a remarkable mood swing" for Americans, who have become war-weary after 13 years of military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The poll showed 47 percent believe America is less safe today than before the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, an increase of 28 percent from the previous year.

The timing of the president's television address, to be shown on all the major TV networks—and on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 Al-Qaeda attacks—is deliberate, according to White House officials. It's "intended to put Americans on alert…that the country faces a serious threat from Islamic State," The Wall Street Journal said.

"Tonight you will hear from the president how the United States will pursue a comprehensive strategy to degrade and ultimately destroy [ISIS], including U.S. military action and support for the forces combating [ISIS] on the ground, both the opposition in Syria and a new, inclusive Iraqi government," said a statement from a senior administration source.

While Obama said he welcomes congressional support for his plan to defeat ISIS, White House officials stressed that the president doesn't deem such consent necessary. The speech is not likely to include details like a timeline or the cost of the military action against ISIS, The Washington Post reports.

Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Wednesday, Jeh Johnson, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, emphasized the threat ISIS poses to the U.S. He said the group has 10,000 fighters, launches 30 to 40 attacks a month and has revenue of nearly $1 million a day.

"The decision by the president to take on a new fight against this enemy was not an easy one, but the president recognizes the serious threat posed by ISIS," said Johnson.