Barack Obama sa sist uke at bakkestyrker i Irak ikke kom på tale. Nå sier forsvarssjef Martin Dempsey at det slett ikke er sikkert. Under visste omstendigheter kan USA bli tvunget til å sette inn bakkestyrker.
Dempsey sa dette under en høring i Kongressen.
«At this juncture, our advisers are intended to help the Iraqis develop a mindset for the offensive and the actions to match it,» Gen. Martin Dempsey said in his opening statement. «Our military advisers will help the Iraqis conduct campaign planning, arrange for enabler and logistics support, and coordinate coalition contributions. To be clear, if we reach the point where I believe our advisers should accompany Iraqi troops on attacks against specific ISIL targets, I will recommend that to the President.»
In another sign of a possible disconnect among administration officials, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who was seated next to Dempsey at the hearing, repeated the President’s promise.
«As the President said last week, American forces will not have a combat mission,» he said.