U.S. to push for coalition to fight 'cancer' of Islamic State: Kerry

WASHINGTON Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:34pm EDT

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at a news conference at the conclusion of the AUSMIN meeting at Admiralty House in Sydney August 12, 2014.      REUTERS/Jason Reed

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at a news conference at the conclusion of the AUSMIN meeting at Admiralty House in Sydney August 12, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States will use a NATO summit next week to push for a coalition of countries to beat back incursions in Syria and Iraq by Islamic State militants who are destabilizing the region and beyond.

"With a united response led by the United States and the broadest possible coalition of nations, the cancer of ISIS will not be allowed to spread to other countries," Kerry wrote in an opinion piece published in The New York Times on Saturday.

Public anger over the beheading of American journalist James Foley has led President Barack Obama to consider military strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria. So far, the United States has limited its actions to the group's forces in Iraq.

The militant group, also referred to as both ISIS and ISIL, has seized about a third of each country and declared a caliphate, a reference to an Islamic state ruled by a caliph, which indicates a successor to the Prophet Mohammad, with temporal authority over all Muslims.

Kerry said he and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will meet with their European counterparts to enlist support for a coalition to act against Islamic State militants. "The goal is to enlist the broadest possible assistance," he wrote.

Hagel and Kerry will then travel to the Middle East to shore up support from countries directly affected by the Islamic State threat, he said.

Islamic State fighters have exhibited "repulsive savagery and cruelty" as they try to touch off a broader sectarian conflict, Kerry wrote, and the beheading of Foley "shocked the conscience of the world."

"Already our efforts have brought dozens of nations to this cause," he said. "Certainly there are different interests at play. But no decent country can support the horrors perpetrated by ISIS, and no civilized country should shirk its responsibility to help stamp out this disease."

Republicans and Democrats in Congress have called for lawmakers to vote on whether the United States should broaden its action against Islamic State.

Two prominent Republicans criticized Obama on Saturday for saying the United States has not yet developed a strategy for confronting Islamic State in Syria.

In an opinion piece also published on the op-ed page of Saturday's New York Times, Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham called Obama's statement on Thursday "startling" and "dangerous" and said the threat from Islamic State requires "a far greater sense of urgency" than the administration is showing.

McCain and Graham, in an essay headlined "Stop Dithering, Confront ISIS," suggested revising the Authorization for Use of Military Force so it could be used for evolving terrorism threats like Islamic State.

That would negate any need for members of Congress to approve specific military action against the group, or suffer the consequences of such a decision.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Sandra Maler and Leslie Adler)

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Comments (8)
NPeril wrote:
So, the profligate Secretary of State returns to the world-stage.

With his unmissed reappearance; the Gentleman continues to be both early and late simultaneously, but never on time because much like the Mad Hatter in Alice’s Wonderland there is no real meaning or effect on events that tempt the Secretary’s attention.

“…the cancer of ISIS will not be allowed to spread to other countries,” Kerry wrote…”

Respectfully, Mr. Secretary; ISIS has ALREADY spread, spear-heading terrorism as a three pronged trident skewers fish in a barrel within local, regional and international spheres.

“Kerry said he and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will meet with their European counterparts to enlist support for a coalition to act against Islamic State militants.” Please sir, tell us what Coalition will follow the US if the Commander-in-Chief has no strategy or inkling on how to utterly destroy IS? What Nations will follow the current thought of a US “Containment-Only” tactic which is like a fool sleeping in the same room as a murderous criminal: There would be no rest and no Sunrise.

Please return to Wonderland where it is always tea-time. The Mad Hatter has saved you a seat.

Aug 30, 2014 6:22pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
cheeze wrote:
Let’s stop playing politics with this issue. The president is right in getting advise and not doing a knee jerk reaction. Let’s get the Saudi’s involved, they have plenty of resources and a strong Air Force; they also have a lot to lose if these thugs keep moving. America is out of tax money folks, time for the Mid East countries to step in a protect their interests, as well as the world’s. The west made them filthy rich with oil money, how about a little pay back once in a while.

Aug 30, 2014 7:28pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
dd606 wrote:
The Arab countries never get involved with other Arab countries. They’re not going to do anything. Saddam invaded Kuwait and they sat there. Guaranteed that the DOD has offered tons of ideas and plans. That’s what they do. That’s their job. He’s not using them, because he doesn’t want to get involved, because he and all his followers are obsessed with not looking like Bush.

Aug 30, 2014 8:03pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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