Obama Says His Strategy is ‘Breaking the Back’ of Extremists

By KEVIN FREKING and JOSH LEDERMAN, Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — President Barack Obama says the fight he’s led against the Islamic State group has been relentless, sustainable and multilateral. He says it demonstrates a shift in how the U.S. takes on terrorists around the world.

Obama is speaking at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, home to U.S. Special Operations Command and U.S. Central Command. It’s Obama’s last major national security speech before leaving office.

Obama is defending a counterterrorism strategy that has relied on U.S. special forces and local groups rather than large-scale U.S. ground forces. He says the U.S. built a “network of partners” to help fight extremists. Obama says the U.S. is “breaking the back” of IS.

Obama notes that he is poised to become the first president to serve two full terms at war.

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