It looks as though Pentagon spokesman John Kirby was on-message Friday when he contradicted secretary of state John Kerry by saying ”we are at war” with the Islamic State, after White House press secretary Josh Earnest echoed his remarks almost word-for-word just minutes later.
On Friday afternoon, CNN reporter Michelle Kosinski pressed Earnest on whether the conflict really was a war, however much the Obama administration might wish otherwise.
“The question that you’re asking, though, goes to the central question that is important for people to understand,” Earnest said. “This is not a situation where it’s the United States against ISIL. The fact is, ISIL has indicated that they’re ready to go to war against the world. And this president — as is expected of American presidents — is stepping up to lead an international coalition to confront that threat, and to deny ISIL a safe-haven.”
“And ultimately this international coalition will be responsible for degrading and destroying ISIL,” he continued. “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.”