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Preparing For All Out Iraq War: Joint Chiefs Of Staff Back US Troops In Combat "If Necessary"

Who could have seen this coming? In yet another example of untruthiness, it appears, according to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey, testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee this morning, President Obama would back U.S. advisers accompanying Iraqi troops in battle to combat Islamic State militants if necessary. For now, Dempsey noted, Iraqi security forces are "doing fine," but as Republican, Sen. Jim Inhofe noted, "it is foolhardy for the Obama administration to tie its hands and so firmly rule out the possibility of special operators on the ground." Following Hagel's remarks that the fight will "not be an easy or a brief effort," Dempsey said if it doesn’t succeed, he would not rule out advising Obama to use U.S. ground forces.

 

 

As Politico reports,

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel emphasized on Tuesday the United States is at war with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, warning Congress that the fight will “not be an easy or a brief effort.”

 

Appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Hagel and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey defended the strategy announced last week by President Barack Obama. Dempsey said the approach “won’t look like a shock and awe campaign” but will be persistent and sustained.

 

But if it doesn’t succeed, the top U.S. military officer said he would not rule out advising Obama to use U.S. ground forces.

 

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

The Senators had plenty to say...

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said the Obama administration had a “fundamental misunderstanding” of the Free Syrian Army, asking Dempsey how the Syrian rebel groups would fight ISIL and not Syrian President Bashar Assad’s troops. Dempsey said the U.S. has an “ISIL-first” strategy.

 

...

 

But the committee’s top Republican, Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, said Obama’s strategy fell short by failing to acknowledge the threat ISIL poses to U.S. national security.

 

“His claim that ‘America is safer’ may support his political narrative — but it’s not true,” Inhofe said. “Secretary Hagel, I appreciate your honesty when you described ISIL on Aug. 21 as ‘an imminent threat to every interest we have, whether it’s in Iraq or anywhere else.’ I agree with you.”

 

Inhofe also said the president’s strategy was detached from the reality on the ground, arguing that it will “take an army to beat an army.”

 

“I’m not advocating for an army division or combat elements on the ground,” Inhofe said. “But it is foolhardy for the Obama administration to tie its hands and so firmly rule out the possibility of air controllers and special operators on the ground to direct airstrikes and advise fighting forces. It sends the wrong message to our troops to the enemy and to partners.”

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Boots on the ground, it is!!