National Security

State Dept Struggles to Answer Whether They Have Complete Strategy Against Islamic State

State Department spokesperson Jeff Rathke struggled Monday to answer whether the State Department has a complete strategy against the Islamic State.

The State Department was asked about its strategy after President Obama said that the U.S. doesn’t yet have a complete strategy against the Islamic State at the G-7 summit press conference.

Associated Press reporter Matt Lee asked, "Can you, speaking for the State Department, say whether the State Department believes its strategy is complete?"

Rathke avoided a direct answer to the question.

"Well, I think if you watched and if you read the transcript of what the president said, I think it should be clear that he was speaking about how to accelerate and optimize the training and equipping of Iraqi forces, including the integration of Sunni fighters and not the overall strategy to fight [the Islamic State]."

Lee said that wasn’t an answer to his question. Lee again asked Rathke whether the State Department had completed their portion of the strategy against the Islamic State.

"We have a strategy," Rathke said. "It’s agreed with our international partners with the Iraqi government, and we are working hard to implement it across all lines of effort."