Having unveiled his non-boots-on-the-ground strategy in September, President Obama’s “promise” was quickly proved fragile when 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. It seems another promise is about to be broken as Bloomberg reports Senator John Cornyn said President Obama told congressional leaders during meeting today at White House he would seek authorization for military force on Islamic State. Boehner’s office, in separate statement after meeting, said Republicans would work with him to build support.

As Bloomberg reports, Obama to Seek Authorization for Military Force

President Obama told congressional leaders during meeting today at White House he would seek authorization for actions on Islamic State, Republican Sen. John Cornyn tells reporters.

No details on timing or substance

Cornyn, fellow Republican Sen. John Thune say Obama’s intention is good development, may help smooth way for confirmation of Ashton Carter as next defense secretary

House Speaker John Boehner, other Republicans have been pressing Obama to seek authorization

Boehner’s office, in separate statement after meeting, said he encouraged Obama to send Congress the authorization and said Republicans would work with him to build support

So what can we expect? (as we noted previously)…

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.

*  *  *

Some folks Are going to be putting their boots on the ground…


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