Gen. Martin E. Dempsey

Gen. Martin E. Dempsey7 posts
17 Sep, 2014

Half Iraqi army not ready

Military Action

Half of the potential military prowess in Iraq is not capable of effectively teaming up with the United States. The other half requires rebuilding efforts consisting of additional training and equipment. Dempsey is hoping this force is made ready with intelligence, air surveillance and tactical air power, along with advisers to assist. Dempsey:

This is about training them in protected locations and then enabling them…

Dempsey also explains that a large US military force, also known as boots on the ground, cannot fix the problem of the Islamic State taking over large swaths of land. He says the key is to form an Iraqi government that unites the Kurdish and Sunni populations as equal partners. Dempsey:

I’m telling you, if that doesn’t happen then it’s time for Plan B.

The general further explains why even US air power cannot ultimately stop ISIS. Dempsey:

What we’ve seen so far is, a lot of the black flags have come down, a lot of the convoys have dispersed, a lot of the (fighter) assembly areas have been moved into urban areas. This will be a campaign of adaptation.

16 Sep, 2014

Foley mission ‘riskiest ever’

Makes Statement

Gen. Dempsey tells the Senate that the mission to rescue Foley – which ultimately failed – was the riskiest ever attempted:

Having been at this some time, it was the most complex, highest risk mission we’ve ever undertaken.

He says this may provide some solace to Foley’s family, who have said that the government did not offer them enough help.

‘Won’t look like shock-and-awe’

Makes Statement

Dempsey says strikes on ISIS in Syria will be different from the ‘shock-and-awe’ tactics of the Iraq War:

This won’t look like a shock-and-awe campaign because that’s not how Isil is organized.

The U.S. will work to ensure a Syrian chain of command is in place to lead forces against ISIS in what he says will be a persistent campaign.

Approves Syrian airstrikes

Military Action

Defense Secretary Hagel tells the Senate that he has approved a plan to conduct ‘targeted actions against [ISIS] safe havens in Syria.’

General Dempsey and I have both reviewed and approved the Cent Com plan.

This includes striking infrastructure. He says the U.S. has carried out more than 160 airstrikes so far, which have ‘disrupted’ ISIS.

24 Jan, 2013

DOD clears path for women in combat

Press Conference

In a joint press conference and signing ceremony, Secretary Panetta and Gen. Dempsey announce the decision to rescind the ban on women serving in direct combat roles. The Secretary directs the process to be completed by Jan 1, 2016.

Today we are acting to expand the opportunities for women to serve in the United States armed forces and to better align our policies with the experiences we have had over the past decade of war. Ultimately, we’re acting to strengthen the joint force.

1 Jan, 1970

May request ground troops

Military Action

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.

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