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Gen. Martin E. Dempsey Iraq ISIS

May request ground troops

1 Jan, 1970

Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Dempsey says in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee that he will recommend deploying ground troops in Iraq in specific operations if the strategy of airstrikes doesn’t succeed. The combat troops would likely be special forces who can call in airstrikes from the ground. Dempsey says he is confident the coalition will stop ISIS:

My view at this point is that this coalition is the appropriate way forward. I believe that will prove true. But if it fails to be true, and there are threats to the United States, then I of course would go back to the president and make a recommendation that may include the use of U.S. military ground forces.

Dempsey acknowledges the view is at odds with President Obama’s preferred strategy of avoiding boots on the ground:

His stated policy is that we will not have U.S. forces in ground combat. He has told me as well to come back to him on a case-by-case basis.