Joint Chiefs Chairman: US Ground Troops ‘Eventually’ Needed in Syria

Says US Troops May Have to Help 'Moderate' Rebels

Testifying today at the House Appropriations Committee, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said it was likely that US ground troops would “eventually” be needed in the ISIS war inside Syria.

Gen. Dempsey, who has been talking up the idea of US combat forces on the ground in Iraq, insisted that “moderate” Syrian rebels might need direct US military backing, with special forces as well as close-air support, to challenge ISIS.

Absent in Dempsey’s comments is that the Pentagon has said they are over a year from even creating a “moderate” rebel force to back militarily, and the director of national intelligence suggested that the US might look at everyone who isn’t ISIS, even al-Qaeda, as “moderates.”

Eagerness to show that they are militarily successful in the ongoing ISIS war has Dempsey pushing for ground combat, since the ongoing air campaign isn’t making any progress. It seems that may span both Iraq and Syria.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of