Top general stands by claim that US boots on ground could be needed to destroy ISIS saying: ‘I will recommend…what it takes to destroy ISIS’
- Dempsey reiterated that there isn’t an 'air power alone solution' and it may take the use of force on the ground to eliminate the terrorist group
- He later indicated that ground troops ‘ could be comprised of Iraqis, Kurds and moderate Syrian opposition’ and not necessarily American forces
- His remarks came as retired four-star general David Petraeus said he thought ground forces would be needed, as well
'I stand by the statement,' he said when asked about testimony before a Senate committee last week in which he first made the assertion. ‘I will recommend… what it takes to destroy ISIS.’
Dempsey reiterated that there isn’t an 'air power alone solution' and it may take the use of force on the ground to eliminate the barbaric terrorist group.
However, he indicated that ground troops ‘would be comprised of Iraqis, Kurds and moderate Syrian opposition' and not necessarily American forces, as was intimated from his previous remarks.
Dempsey had said last week that he may advice President Obama to boots on the ground in Iraq - something Obama has said he will not do - if the president's preferred strategy doesn't have the intended effect.
The four-star general told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee U.S. forces could engage in ‘close combat advising' if the circumstances called for it.
Hypothetically speaking, Dempsey said American troops could end up ‘accompanying' the Iraqi army during a skirmish with ISIS while taking back city of Mosul.
Dempsey revealed to the Senators that Obama told him privately 'to come back to him on a case-by-case basis' as far as boots on the ground are concerned.
The following day Dempsey told reporters that assessors sent into Iraq by the U.S. military found that 24 of the army’s 50 brigades were incapable of putting their sectarian differences aside to effectively work together.
The other 26 brigades would need additional training and more equipment, Dempsey said.
That same day Obama denied that he was considering going back on his promise that he would not put American troops into combat situations.
‘I want to be clear: The American forces that have been deployed to Iraq do not and will not have a combat mission,' he told an service men and women at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, during a speech.
As of today, the U.S. had already dropped 272 bombs and missiles on Syria and 374 on Iraq.
Retired General David Petraeus said today that while he too believes ground troops could be needed to finish the job in Iraq and Syria, he thinks the Iraqi army may able to do it themselves, eventually.
'What we’re doing right now is disrupting. We are gradually chipping away at the strength’ of ISIS, the former Bush and Obama administration said, according to Bloomberg.
Petraeus told business executives at a Tokyo hotel that it could take ‘many years' to resolve the situation in Syria.
In terms of Iraq, he said, ‘I do believe the Iraqis can be the ground forces that can deal with this over time, but again it will be months and years, not days or weeks.'
Petraeus' opinion on the situation in Iraq is notable given his position overseeing the so-called surge in Iraq at the end of George W. Bush’s second term in office.
The four-star general went on to serve as head of U.S. Central Command and Commander of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan before being promoted to President Barack Obama’s national security team in 2011.
Petreaus served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency until it was revealed in late 2012 that he’d had an extra-marital affair with his biographer.
Since then, he’d mostly stayed out of the public spotlight until the U.S. reinvolved itself in Iraq earlier this summer.
'We have invested a great deal in that country, we have given them hope on two different occasions and I think it’s very legitimate [that] United States officials are supporting a process that is led by Iraqi officials,' Petraeus said in June in remarks at the Aspen Ideas Festival reported on by The Washington Times.
Petraeus said on Friday that past experience battling al Qaeda in western Pakistan proves that if the U.S. leaves Iraq to it’s own devices now, terrorist threats will rise back up.
'We have seen this elsewhere,' he said. 'You have to keep on disrupting. If you let up the pressure, then al Qaeda senior leadership will come back.’
The retired military officer said he thought the Iraqis would eventually be able to solve their own problems and indicated that leaders should have more faith in the Iraqi army’s ability to ward off ISIS.
‘I believe you should not underestimate the residual capacity of the Iraqi security forces and we should not overestimate the capabilities of ISIL,' he said.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2771158/I-stand-statement-Top-military-general-Dempsey-says-ll-recommend-ground-troops-defeat-ISIS-necessary.html#ixzz3EUqrGpsv
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