Yet, oddly, he never talked about the source of the terrorism. He never once mentioned radical Islam or Muslims or jihad, or the multiple attacks and plots by Muslim radicals on U.S. military installations -- including the bloody assault by a Muslim soldier on his fellow troops at Fort Hood, Texas.
How can you battle an enemy you won't even name or acknowledge?
Answer: You really can't.
But that's just the political and tactical part of the war on terrorism that this administration refuses to publicly admit. The larger question goes beyond that -- and even beyond the issue of radical Islam.
The larger issue isn't economics, either, as many would like to believe. Osama bin Laden comes from an extraordinarily wealthy family.
The real source of our present threat even goes beyond sheer, blind hatred -- though hatred is something of a sacrament among radical Muslims. Otherwise, jihadists would only target the infidels they hate so much.
No, the real issue is bigger than all that.
Simply put, nihilism is a belief that nothing in this life has worth, that existence is meaningless.
This, at bottom, is what we are fighting today.
In the case of Muslim jihadists, there is a belief system that this life is so without worth that it is actually a good thing to kill "nonbelievers" and their sympathizers, and that one will be rewarded for it in the next life -- with 72 virgins, or some such thing.
It's interesting to note, too, the Muslim radicals' definition of "martyr": In the Christian faith it is someone who is killed for his faith; in radical Islam it is someone who kills for his faith.
These are all very dangerous beliefs, and they spring from a single font: the assertion that this life means nothing.
Many believe Islam needs a reformation. If so, it needs to move clearly and very prominently away from hatred, intolerance and nihilism.
These destructive beliefs, more than anything -- more than poverty, disease, natural disasters or deprivation -- plague mankind.
For deprivation, there is progress and good works; the truth is, as modern philosopher Wayne Dyer notes, we do live in a world of abundance.
But those of us who would give to others what they most desperately need are at risk in certain parts of the world from those who believe in nothing except meaninglessness. Indeed, a female suicide bomber in Pakistan targeted a World Food Program food distribution center Saturday -- lobbing grenades before setting off her suicide vest.
She killed nearly 50 people and injured almost 100 more in the blast carried out on Christmas Day -- intended to punish people who were feeding tens of thousands of families after that region's deadly floods earlier this year. The hungry will be punished too: The food program was naturally suspended after the attack.
That's the insane method. Nihilism is the madness.
Jihadists must drive themselves crazy with the notion that someone somewhere in the world might be having a good time. They hate people of other religions. They hate freedom. They hate women's equality. They hate peace. They hate Christmas.
At bottom, though, and most importantly, they hate this life.
The Obama administration needs to deal with the problem honestly, stop dodging and wishing reality away, and accept that our enemy is radical Islam.
The rest of the world, especially the Muslim world, needs to recognize the source of the problem.