President Obama is stuck in the pre-2008 election days. We've all heard Democrats' complaint about the war in Iraq that Iraq had not attacked the U.S. and that war should be reserved for those who do.
Never mind that preventative action can eliminate problems that could have escalated to a national threat. But the isolationist attitude is to wait until the problem is knocking on the door. This brings us to President Obama's State of the Union speech last night.
The TV shows this morning highlighted this passage:
But as we focus on destroying ISIL, over-the-top claims that this is World War III just play into their hands. Masses of fighters on the back of pickup trucks, twisted souls plotting in apartments or garages -- they pose an enormous danger to civilians; they have to be stopped. But they do not threaten our national existence. (Applause.) That is the story ISIL wants to tell. That’s the kind of propaganda they use to recruit.
There's his threshold which also happens to be the threshold may Democrats have as well.
BTW, when a world power feels threatened by "masses of fighters," the only circumstance in which that's a recruitment tool is when they know that world power lacks the willpower to do anything about it.