Lt. General Sean MacFarland told Pentagon reporters today in a video-conference from Baghdad that the U.S. is bound by the laws of armed conflict and “at the end of the day, you know, it doesn’t only matter whether or not you win, it matters how you win."
“We’re the United States of America and we have a set of guiding principles,” MacFarland added. “And those affect the way we as professional soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines conduct ourselves on the battlefield. So, indiscriminate bombing, where we don’t care if we’re killing innocents or combatants, is just inconsistent with our values.”
MacFarland noted that Russia has been accused of indiscriminate bombing in northwest Syria and “right now, we have the moral high ground and I think that’s where we need to stay.”
MacFarland acknowledged he is developing new options to accelerate the fight against ISIS that could potentially include more American troops in Iraq where there are currently 3,700 service members training and advising the Iraqi military in its fight against ISIS.