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Obama Visits MacDill, Talks Syria Strategy

A map showing the 20 countries under the supervision of Central Command. Photo: centcom.mil

President Obama visited Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa on Wednesday for briefings on the plan to defeat the extremist group known as the Islamic State.

Central Command, or CentCom, is responsible for the safety of 20 countries in the Middle East – including Syria and Iraq.

President Obama told troops at MacDill that he will not commit to fighting a ground war in Iraq.

University of Central Florida political scientist Paul Vasquez says defeating the Islamic State, or ISIS, will not be easy.

“The president and his advisers are trying to thread a very small needle – where force is used in a way that diminishes ISIS as a military threat without unintentionally destabilizing other countries,” says Vasquez.

On his visit to MacDill the President also met with representatives from the nations that CentCom oversees in an effort to establish a coalition for the mission.

The House is expected to vote late Wednesday in favor of the President’s plan.

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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Intersection' Producer

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts "Are We There Yet?", WMFE's space exploration podcast He also helps produce WMFE's twice-weekly public affairs show "Intersection," working with host Matthew Peddie to shape the ... Read Full Bio »