By Jesse Byrnes - 09/03/14 03:49 PM EDT
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Wednesday said that the Obama administration should make defeating the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) its top priority.
Warren agreed that "time is of the essence."
"We need to be working now, full-speed ahead, with other countries, to destroy ISIS. That should be our No. 1 priority," she said in a wide-ranging interview promoting her latest book, A Fighting Chance.
President Obama said earlier in the day from Estonia that the U.S. would "degrade and destroy" the terrorist group. But later he said the country should work with allies to "shrink" the group's "sphere of influence," effectively making it a "manageable problem."
Warren deflected a question on whether Obama has been too cautious in his strategy to combat the Islamic terrorist group and pushed back on potentially broader unilateral action.
"We can't get pulled into another war in the Middle East," she said. "We need to be working with others to close ISIS down."
Warren called the recent beheadings of American journalists "an act of savagery" and said it was an "assault on all of our humanity."
Asked about the dozens of Americans who have reportedly joined ISIS, Warren noted that the U.S. should be "stepping up our efforts to track where people go when they leave the United States."
"The terrorists have moved, and we have to move in response," she said, adding part of that "means we're going to have to change in fundamental ways how we monitor our citizens when they go abroad."