Despite President Obama’s promise not to get involved in another ground war in Iraq, General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has not ruled out the use of U.S. ground troops in the battle against ISIS.
Fox News reported that Dempsey addressed the possible deployment of U.S. troops in a testimony before the Senate Armed Service Committee Tuesday.
“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 if 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 said Obama told him to come back to him personally on a “case by case basis” if the military situation changed.
According to the Inquisitr, the U.S. continues to expand its military campaign against the extremist group, ISIS. President Obama has pointedly refrained from calling the current campaign a “war,” although his advisers have referred to it as such.
Dempsey says the reality of a prolonged campaign could make the use of ground troops inevitable, especially if the battle moves into densely populated areas where air strikes will be less effective and endanger civilians.
The White House insisted the president was not changing his policy. In a statement to reporters, White House press secretary Josh Earnest spoke about the situation.
“It’s the responsibility of the president’s military advisers to plan and concede all the wide range of contingencies. It’s also the responsibility of the commander in chief to set out a clear policy.”
Members of the committee have doubts that Obama’s plan will succeed. Senator Angus King of Maine called the plan a “whack-a mole” approach to terrorism, and Senator John McCain of Arizona expressed concern that the proposed training of 5,000 Syrian fighters was “an inadequate response” to more than 30,000 ISIS terrorists.
Washington Democrats are expressing fear that the United States may become dragged into another ground war so soon after those in Afghanistan and Iraq. ABC News quoted Rep. Pet Visclosky, D-Ind.
“We must…ask ourselves if we can truly “vet” these rebel groups beyond their known affiliations, and ensure we are not arming the next extremist threat to the region and the world.”
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel addressed those concerns at the Senate hearing, saying that the U.S. will closely monitor to make sure that weapons don’t fall into the wrong hands.
[Photo courtesy of U.S Department of Defense]