US General Says GOP Pledge for 'Carpet Bombing' ISIS is Against American Values

February 01, 2016

US General Says GOP Pledge for 'Carpet Bombing' ISIS is Against American Values

Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland, the U.S. military commander in charge of U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition, denounced calls by some GOP presidential candidates to "carpet bomb" ISIS during a Pentagon press briefing Monday.

Army Lieutenant General Sean MacFarland did not call out Donald Trump and Ted Cruz by name, but he rejected what he called “indiscriminate” bombing as illegal, immoral and un-American.

“We are bound by the laws of armed conflict and at the end of the day it doesn’t only matter whether or not you win, it matters how you win,” MacFarland told reporters on Monday.

"We're the United States of America. We have a set of guiding principles. Indiscriminate bombing, where we don't care if we're killing innocents or combatants, is just inconsistent with our values."

Trump, the Republican frontrunner, told an Iowa crowd he would “bomb the shit out of ’em … there would be nothing left”. His closest rival, the Texas senator Ted Cruz, has repeatedly vowed to pursue the “fundamentally different military strategy” of carpet-bombing Isis without “apology”, most recently in last Thursday’s debate.

“We will carpet-bomb [Isis] into oblivion,” Cruz said in Iowa last month.

When asked by reporters to provide more details about the changing strategy of fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria, particularly over key details such as prospective US troop increases or the recently expanded role of special operations forces, the U.S. commander refused to answer their questions.

“I’d like the enemy to find out for the first time when the area around them is going up in smoke,” MacFarland said.

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