Is The U.S. At War With ISIS Or Just Counterterrorism Operations?

The administration that can’t shoot straight now says it’s a war

(Fox News) The White House and Pentagon acknowledged Friday that the U.S. “is at war” with the Islamic State — contradicting Secretary of State John Kerry and others who a day earlier refused to use that term, prompting criticism from lawmakers that the administration was downplaying the conflict.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest and Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby used almost identical language when pressed by reporters Friday whether or not the expanded military operation against the terrorist group is in fact a war.

“In the same way that the United States is at war with Al Qaeda and its affiliates … the United States is at war with ISIL,” Earnest said.

Kirby said “this is not the Iraq War” from a decade ago, “but make no mistake — we know we are at war with ISIL in the same way we are at war and continue to be at war with Al Qaeda and its affiliates.”

The comments are a sharp turnaround from how Kerry described the military operation on Thursday. In interviews with CNN and CBS News, Kerry described it as a “very significant” and “major counterterrorism operation.” He told CBS News that “war is the wrong terminology.”

His spokeswoman, Marie Harf, also said she would not “refer to our efforts” as part of the “war on terrorism.”

Earnest said Thursday that it wasn’t a war, contradicting himself Friday. Susan Rice, US National Security Advisor, says it’s not a war, but long term counterterrorism operations. Obama never said we were at war during his prime time campaign ISIS speech. Which is it, war or counterterrorism? Good questions. Another one is why is an administration that was truly amazing during the last two presidential campaigns so horrible at messaging while in office? Noah Rothman might have the answer

If you thought the threat posed by the Islamic State was a national security matter, as most of the nation does, you would be incorrect. It is, in fact, a domestic political matter. That is clearly how the White House views it. There is no other way to explain their inane vacillation and incomprehensibly fluid position on what the response to the threat posed by ISIS should be.

At the end of the day, the best thing for the administration will be too competently go after ISIS and other Islamic terrorist groups. Let the military and paramilitary forces loose. Don’t micromanage. Americans are concerned about the threat. Lead. Won’t happen.

What time do we get the Tweet about Obama being on the golf course?

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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