Hagel: US Needs to Weigh Consequences of Escalating War on ISIS

Warns Military Action Isn't Going to End With Just Airstrikes

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel seemed to counsel caution on the continued escalation of the US war against ISIS, something that is in short supply as most officials are pushing for escalation both in Iraq and into neighboring Syria.

Once you start an airstrike, or once you start any military action, it doesn’t end there,” warned Hagel, who said the US has to weigh the consequences of any escalations they commit to in the war.

At the same time he tried to offer himself up as a voice of comparative sanity in the push for ever-escalating the open-ended war, Hagel also sought to sideline war opponents, insisting that inaction wasn’t an option, meaning the only question up for debate was how big of a war the US was launching, and how soon.

That’s a noteworthy omission in the list of options, particularly since the administration has admitted to not having any actual strategy that they believe will lead to an accomplishment of their war goals.

At the very least Hagel seems to be a voice against the most precipitous escalation of the disastrous war, but at the end of the day, officials still seem to believe that doing “something,” even if it’s a profoundly bad idea, is the only option.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.