The strategy for combating ISIS will be “consistent with the counterterrorism strategy we've pursued in cases all around the world,” the White House press secretary said.
The White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the United States is at war with ISIS (or ISIL). Earnest said this Friday in response to the direct question of whether the United States is at war with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Secretary of State John Kerry, however, disagrees.
Earnest said Friday, in a White House press release, “So I think what you could conclude from this is the United States is at war with ISIL, in the same way that we’re at war with al Qaeda and its al Qaeda affiliates all around the globe.” He said this after assuring that the United States will lead an “international coalition” that will destroy ISIL.
The strategy for combating ISIS will be “consistent with the counterterrorism strategy we’ve pursued in cases all around the world,” Earnest assured.
Just one day before Earnest’s press release, John Kerry rejected the idea of war in describing the United States’ efforts to stop ISIL. In a CNN interview, Kerry said, “What we are doing is engaging in a very significant counterterrorism operation. It’s going to go on for some period of time. If somebody wants to think about it as being a war with ISIL, they can do so, but the fact is it’s a major counterterrorism operation that will have many different moving parts.”
While Josh Earnest draws the conclusion that the United States is at war by comparing the similarities between the conflict with al Qaeda in recent years and the conflict with ISIL, Kerry draws the exact opposite conclusion from the same data. In a separate interview with CBS News on Thursday, Kerry said, “I think war is the wrong terminology and analogy but the fact is that we are engaged in a very significant global effort to curb terrorist activity…. It’s not dissimilar to what we’ve been doing the last few years with al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan and in Yemen and eslewhere.”