Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Sunday he is not recommending U.S. airstrikes in Syria unless he determines that ISIS has become a direct threat to the U.S.

On Thursday, Dempsey said that the border between Iraq and Syria has become "nonexistent" and that ISIS cannot be defeated without attacking their bases in Syria. Sitting alongside Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Dempsey sounded like he was in support of immediate action against ISIS in Syria.

Steve Doocy and Air Force Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney (Ret.) discussed the apparent shift by the Obama administration over the past few days.

McInerney agreed that someone from the White House spoke to Dempsey, leading to the revised comments on Sunday. He argued that, just like in 2012 prior to the Benghazi attack, the White House is looking to downplay the terror threat before an election.

"They knew an attack was coming and they ignored it. Just for the election," he said.

He then warned about the prospect of another large-scale terror attack, saying Sept. 11 is an "attractive date" for ISIS.

"I believe that we should go to DEFCON 1 and be prepared for another strike. ... I believe American cities will be attacked and we should be prepared for it," he said.

"The American people are in danger. We need a massive air campaign in Iraq and Syria," said McInerney, noting that he believes members of ISIS have already infiltrated across the southern border.