Hillary Clinton
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks to guests at a campaign event on November 3, 2015 in Coralville, Iowa. A recently released poll has Clinton expanding her lead over rival Bernie Sanders in their quest for the Democratic nomination for president. Scott Olson/Getty Images

Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton announced on 10 November that she was not prepared to lend her support for a formal declaration of war against the Islamic State (IS). However, Clinton said she believes that the US needs to improve its continued efforts to fight against the militants.

According to Reuters, Clinton said that a declaration of war would require an understanding of the resources available and the goals involved. "If you have a declaration of war, you'd better have a budget that backs it up," Clinton said while campaigning in New Hampshire.

The former secretary of state added, "I do think that we have to do a better job of understanding the threat that is posed by radical Islamic jihadist groups." Clinton, who is a favourite to clinch the Democratic nomination, said that because the terrorist organisation is spread throughout the Middle East, declaring war might not be the best way to fight against it.

The Associated Press reported that Clinton's comments come as some members of Congress have pushed for a war authorisation vote as the US military intervention against IS in Iraq and Syria ramps up. Clinton noted that if an affiliate of IS was truly responsibly for the downing of the Russian passenger plane over the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt.

The US-led coalition has made several attacks on IS positions in the past few months, although it appears that the targeted efforts have not been enough to curtail the group's ongoing expansion. Last month, IS captured the town of Mahin, five miles away from Sadad, the largest remaining community of Syriac Christians. At least 200 Christian fighters have flocked to Sadad to protect the town from IS militants.