Testifying to the Senate Armed Services Committee today, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Paul Selva rejected Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R – TX) recent calls to “carpet bomb” ISIS into oblivion.
Sen. Cruz made the comments at a weekend campaign visit to Iowa, vowing to find out “if sand can glow in the dark.” Sen. Claire McCaskill (D – MO) pressed Gen. Selva for his take on the proposal, prefacing it with concerns about civilian casualties in such an attack.
Gen. Selva appeared to concur, saying the strategy would feed ISIS’ narrative on an “apocalyptic war with the West,” saying such calls run counter to America’s national security interest and that the US military does not now, and will not in the future, engage in carpet bombings.
This is the second time in as many days the Pentagon has faulted a presidential candidate’s policy suggestions, though in this case it was prompted by questions from Sen. McCaskill. Yesterday, the Pentagon criticized Donald Trump’s call to ban Muslims from the United States on similar grounds, warning it played into ISIS’ recruitment message of the US being at war with Islam as a whole.