The vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the U.S. should consider restarting a formal military operation to combat the rise and influence of the Islamic State in the Philippines, the Washington Examiner reports.

Gen. Paul Selva was responding to a question from Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, during an Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday.

Ernst, a proponent of intervention against the Islamic State in the Philippines, warned that the instability could become a "prolonged or long-term catastrophe," per the Washington Examiner.

"In every case where we see the resurgence of terror networks, particularly in the fragile areas of the south Philippines, I think it is worth considering whether or not we reinstate a named operation," Selva said.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told Congress in June that a U.S. military operation to help contain extremist fighters in the Philippines was cancelled three years ago.