Despite President Obama’s “promise” that there would be no combat troop boots-on-the-ground in the fight against ISIS in Iraq (and his doubling of ‘military advisor’ troop levels last week), The Guardian reports that General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, indicated to the House of Representatives armed services committee that the strength of ISIS relative to the Iraqi army may be such that he would recommend abandoning Obama’s oft-repeated pledge against returning US ground troops to combat in Iraq. Dempsey added, rather uncomfortably, that “we’re going to need about 80,000 competent Iraqi security forces to recapture territory lost, and eventually the city of Mosul, to restore the border.” The irony of this is that the ‘not-dead’ leader of ISIS al-Baghdadi spoke today and exclaimed that the US will be soon compelled to come on the ground to fight his group.

As The Guardian reports:

General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, indicated to the House of Representatives armed services committee that the strength of Isis relative to the Iraqi army may be such that he would recommend abandoning Obama’s oft-repeated pledge against returning US ground troops to combat in Iraq.

Retaking the critical city of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest, and re-establishing the border between Iraq and Syria that Isis has erased “will be fairly complex terrain” for the Iraqi security forces that the US is once again supporting.

“I’m not predicting at this point that I would recommend that those forces in Mosul and along the border would need to be accompanied by US forces, but we’re certainly considering it,” Dempsey said.

And, as The Daily Star adds:

Iraq will need about 80,000 effective military troops to retake the terrain it lost to Islamic State militants and restore its border with Syria, the top U.S. general said on Thursday.

“We’re going to need about 80,000 competent Iraqi security forces to recapture territory lost, and eventually the city of Mosul, to restore the border,” Army General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff, told a congressional hearing.

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The Pentagon Press Secretary was rapidly on the case to back-pedal…

Capture

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

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