Washington: American leadership is as strong as ever despite a slew of challenges, from the fight to eradicate Islamic State militants to a deadly Ebola epidemic and efforts to tackle climate change, President Barack Obama said Saturday in his weekly address.
Obama, the reluctant warrior who took office nearly six years ago promising to end costly wars, instead now finds himself launching a new conflict -- against the Islamic State jihadists -- that the White House freely admits will stretch past his departure from office in January 2017.
But the world still looks to America and its values of freedom and democracy in uncertain times, Obama said.
"American leadership is the one constant in an uncertain world. That was true this week, as we mobilized the world to confront some of our most urgent challenges," Obama said in his weekly broadcast address after a flurry of meetings and a major speech at the United Nations.
On Monday, the United States began launching a series of strikes targeting the Islamic State, after building a broad coalition of partner countries, including Arab nations.
"America is leading the world in the fight to degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL," Obama added, using one of the acronyms by which the group is known.
His comments came shortly after a senior US defense official said that the United States was now engaged in "near-continuous" strikes.
Turning to the prolonged stand-off in Ukraine which has pit the US and Russia in a Cold War-style standoff, Obama vowed to "support the people of Ukraine as they develop their democracy and economy" along with allies.
As the world struggles to contain a rapidly spreading Ebola outbreak that has already killed about 3,000 people in West Africa, Obama said that "America is leading the fight."
Britain, France, Germany and Senegal have all increased their efforts to contain the outbreak.
And "We will continue to rally other countries to join us in making concrete commitments to fight this disease, and enhance global health security for the long-term," Obama said.
On climate change, the president insisted that the United States was "engaging more partners and allies than ever to confront the growing threat of climate change before it`s too late."
He noted that US climate assistance has now reached 120 countries.
"The people of the world look to us to lead. And we welcome that responsibility," Obama said.
"We are heirs to a proud legacy of freedom. And as we showed the world this week, we are prepared to do what is necessary to secure that legacy for generations to come."