Pentagon Admits: US Advisers May Fight Alongside Iraqi Troops

US Combat Only Ruled Out 'for Now'

Testifying to the Senate Armed Services Committee today, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey conceded that the promises of no combat troops in Iraq are only tentative, and that the reality is they’ve only been ruled out “for now.”

Gen. Dempsey says that in the future he may recommend that the ground troops in Iraq, presently labeled “advisers,” will fight alongside the Iraqi military in offensives against ISIS.

Dempsey insisted the current plan is to just provide them with advice, and airstrikes, but if that fails, and pretty much everyone expects that to be the case, the advisers will start accompanying the Iraqi forces on combat missions.

Iraq has truly become a slippery slope in this regard, with the new war launched less than a month ago as a “humanitarian intervention” aimed at dropping aid to Yazidis, and quickly escalated into an air war spanning Iraq and Syria, with a coalition of scores of nations determined to “destroy” ISIS.

At each turn, the American public has been assured that the next step would absolutely not be taken, and that the US was not heading back into a ground war in Iraq, despite all of those ground troops they kept deploying. Now, the admission is that even the ground combat pledge is evaporating, and the US is well and truly in a new open-ended regional war.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.