Clinton says would not support war declaration against ISIS

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton listens to a question from the audience during a veterans roundtable discussion with the Truman National Security Project at the VFW Hall in Derry, New Hampshire November 10, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

DERRY, N.H. (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday she was not ready to support a formal declaration of war against Islamic State militants, although she said the United States needs to improve its efforts to fight the group.

To have a declaration of war, she said, requires understanding the resources available and the goals involved.

“If you have a declaration of war, you’d better have a budget that backs it up,” said Clinton, who was campaigning in New Hampshire.

“I do think that we have to do a better job of understanding the threat that is posed by radical Islamic jihadist groups,” added Clinton, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the November 2016 presidential election.

Because Islamic State, or ISIS, is so diffuse across the Middle East, she said, a declaration of war might not be the right way to fight such a group, calling ISIS “the first Internet terrorist network.”

Islamic State controls swathes of Iraq and Syria and is battling the Egyptian army in the Sinai Peninsula.

The group has recently said it was responsible for the crash of a Russian airliner over Egypt’s Sinai peninsula.

Reporting by Luciana Lopez; Editing by David Gregorio