The Pentagon has told the U.S. Congress that a long, drawn-out military campaign against Islamic State militants is just beginning and could expand to include modest numbers of U.S. military advisers deployed alongside Iraqi combat troops.
U.S. Army General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, made the remarks during an assessment he and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel delivered to the House Armed Services Committee on November 13.
Dempsey said he was “not predicting at this point” that he will recommend that U.S. forces accompany Iraqi troops in Mosul and along Iraq’s border with Syria, but he said, “We're certainly considering it."
U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration has previously said U.S. ground troops would not be deployed on combat missions.
Obama is seeking congressional approval for $5.6 billion to double the size of the Iraq mission to more than 3,000 U.S. troops.