WASHINGTON — The White House is characterizing the U.S. mission against Islamic State militants as a war similar to the one waged against al-Qaida and its affiliates.
The administration has been careful to distinguish President Barack Obama's strategy against the Islamic State group from the ground wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. On Thursday, Secretary of State John Kerry preferred to call the mission a counterterrorism operation.
On Friday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that it was Islamic State that was waging war on the world and that the U.S. was leading a coalition to ultimately destroy it.
He said the United States is at war with the Islamic State militants "in the same way that we are at war with al-Qaida and its al-Qaida affiliates all around the globe."