"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," Dempsey told the Senate Armed Services Committees, using an alternative name for the group.Dempsey said the White House has ruled out the use of special operations forces on the ground, but Obama has told him to come back "on a case by case basis" if the situation changes.
Pressed during questioning, Dempsey said that under certain circumstances he "would go back to the president and make a recommendation that may include the use of ground forces."
"Are pilots dropping bombs in Iraq a direct combat mission and will U.S. forces be prepared to provide search and rescue mission if pilots get shot down and be prepared to put boots on the ground to make that mission be successful?" Inhofe asked."Yes and yes," Dempsey said.
Dempsey said it would take three to five months to establish the training program, working with moderate Syrians who have been driven from their homes by Islamic militants. An estimated two-thirds of the approximately 30,000 extremists are in Syria.
Dempsey: If campaign fails, ground troops possible
By DONNA CASSATA and LOLITA C. BALDOR
Published: 10 minutes ago