“We have not contained” ISIS, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told lawmakers at a House Armed Services Committee hearing.The comment runs counter to what the president said days before ISIS launched a string of attacks across Paris.
“I don’t think they’re gaining strength. What is true is that from the start, our goal has been first to contain, and we have contained them,” Obama told ABC News.
Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communication, later said the president’s remarks applied specifically to Iraq and Syria.
Dunford said ISIS has been “tactically” contained in areas they have been since 2010 but added, “Strategically they have spread since 2010.”
His remarks were in response to questioning by Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) on whether ISIS has been contained at any time since 2010.
Dunford added that ISIS posed a threat beyond Iraq and Syria to countries such as Egypt, Nigeria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon and Jordan.
Forbes also got Dunford to disagree with Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who testified alongside him.
Carter had declared during his opening statement that “we’re at war” with ISIS.
Forbes pressed Dunford whether the U.S. was at war with ISIS, and who declared that war.
“We are technically not at war,” Dunford replied.
Full article: Joint Chiefs chairman: ‘We have not contained’ ISIS (The Hill)