The White House urged allies on Monday to do more in the campaign against the Islamic State, while President Barack Obama faced pressure in return to show the U.S.-led coalition will intensify efforts in response to the Paris attacks, even without a major shift in strategy.
Requests for more counterintelligence, military and humanitarian assistance came a day before French President Francois Hollande was to arrive at the White House to discuss the fight against the extremists believed to be behind the Nov. 13 attacks that killed 130 people. Hollande, who next visits Russian President Vladimir Putin, is expected to seek more coordinated military operations that would include both the U.S. and Moscow.
Obama has shown no inclination to rethink the U.S. strategy or significantly expand America’s commitment, despite pressure from Hollande, Republican critics and some members of his own Democratic Party. However, Secretary of State John Kerry said in Abu Dhabi that both he and the president would like to see progress against the Islamic State “go faster.”
At the White House, spokesman Josh Earnest said the U.S. may step up efforts supporting strategies believed to be working — airstrikes and train-and-assist missions in Syria and Iraq — but he played down the possibility of any surge of new American resources into the fight.
The U.S. is “pulling more than our weight” in the coalition, Earnest said. “And we believe that there is more that can be done if countries are willing to contribute additional resources.”