The US has, for the first time, declared that it is “at war” with the Islamic State. So far top leaders, Barack Obama and John Kerry among them, have been carefully dodging the term after the not-so-successful campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.
White House press secretary John Earnest first used the term “war” on Friday, at least three times. “The United States is at war with ISIL in the same way that we are at war with Al-Qaeda and its Al-Qaeda affiliates all around the globe,” he said.
A few minutes later, Pentagon spokesman, Rear Admiral John Kirby, added: “This is not the Iraq war of 2003, but make no mistake, we know we are at war with ISIS, in the same way we are at war and continue to be at war with Al-Qaeda and its affiliates.”
Until Friday, however, neither President Obama, nor Secretary of State John Kerry opted to use that language.