ISIS Hopes to Draw US Into “Apocalyptic War”

ISIS is trying to engage the US in “what they believe is an apocalyptic war with the West,” and anything we do to support that idea is against our national security interests, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff USAF Gen. Paul Selva told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Dec. 9. “We have to be very careful about how we prosecute a campaign that appears to be an indiscriminate attempt to attack ISIL and the population that surrounds it,” he said. Defense Secretary Ash Carter also spoke against sending in a “significant” US ground force, quoting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, who last week testified that “ISIL would love nothing more than a large presence of US forces on the ground in Iraq and Syria so that they could have a call to jihad.” Sen. John McCain, chairman of the committee, rejected that argument, and said President Obama has mounted a “strawman argument” by saying his critics wanted to send 100,000 US troops into Iraq and Syria. “No one is calling for that,” said McCain (R-Ariz.), while stressing that the US does need “several thousand additional US troops” in Iraq, and a “multinational ground force,” including a “strong US component,” in Syria.