Defense

January 17, 2014

Dempsey disappointed by setbacks in Iraq

Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is disappointed the Iraqis have not done more with the chance they have been given by the men and women of the U.S military.

The young men and women who went to Iraq won their fight they did exactly what we asked them to do., Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey said.

Dempsey told NPRs Tom Bowman that the images of al Qaeda affiliates raising their flags over the embattled city of Fallujah triggers the same thing that runs through any veterans mind who served there, which is disappointment.

He is proud of what the U.S. military did, but said that Iraq has failed to take advantage of what we gave them.

The chairman was the commander of the 1st Armored Division in Baghdad in 2003 and 2004. He also commanded the Multinational Security Transition Command-Iraq from 2005 to 2007.

The situation in Iraq has deteriorated since U.S. troops pulled out in December 2011. Suicide bombing have become more frequent and Iraqi government statistics indicate that about 8,000 Iraqis were killed in 2013.

Fighting in Anbar province intensified at the end of 2013, and the Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant an al Qaeda affiliated group took control of Fallujah and made inroads in Ramadi, the provincial capital.

I wouldnt give up on Iraq yet though, the chairman said. Its a little premature to declare that this conflict in Ramadi and Fallujah portends the collapse of the state of Iraq or an irreversible setback.

Iraqi security forces are credible, the general said. The government is divided, and the forces have had challenges with logistics and command and control, but the forces remain tough.
U.S. military officials, including the chairman, had forecast these shortcomings with the Iraqi forces.

Given conditions in the country, Dempsey believes the government will be pressured to look for a political solution. But he said, The hard-core al Qaeda the Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant they are going to be a problem that will have to be rooted out by the Iraqi security forces.

The civil war in Syria is spilling over into Iraq, reinforcing the chairmans contention that problems in the area are regional in scope. Ive talked for some time about the fact that the conflict in the region stretches from Beirut to Damascus to Baghdad, he said. It is a regional conflict that has the religious undertone of Sunni and Shiia, but even that has been hijacked by the radical extremists on both sides Lebanese Hezbollah on one side and ISIL on the other.

The United States is looking at how to help solve the problems of the region. Dempsey said the U.S. military can help in planning and logistics. No one has asked, nor have we offered direct military involvement because of the underlying religious issues and extremist issues, he said.

If the countries of the region can address the problems without U.S. direct action, the process is far more likely to produce a positive outcome, he said.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Air National Guard photograph by SSgt. Annie Edwards

ANG conducts air refueling training with NATO allies in Germany

Air National Guard photograph by SSgt. Annie Edwards A NATO E-3A AWACS aircraft approaches a Utah Air National Guard KC-135R Stratotanker for air refueling during a training flight over Germany on Jan. 13, 2015. Nearly 30 airme...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Armando A. Schwier-Morales

Ramstein Airmen train with French air force

Air Force photograph by SrA. Armando A. Schwier-Morales Two U.S. Air Force pilots and a French air force navigator discuss the route to the drop zone during a simulated low-level drop Jan. 21, 2015, at Orleans – Bricy Air...
 
 

Marines receive first F-35C Lightning II carrier variant

The first F-35C Lightning II, carrier variant, for the U.S. Marine Corps touched-down on the flight line at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 13, from the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas, to begin training in support of carrier-based operations. U.S. Marine Lt. Col. J.T. Ryan, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 501 detachment commander...
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald

40 years of Red Flag at Nellis

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald A flight of F-15 Eagles and F-16 Fighting Falcons Aggressors fly in formation over the Nevada Test and Training Ranges June 5, 2008. The proposal for Red Flag came in early...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Navy gears up to order production of 29 aircraft diagnostic systems

Lockheed Martin photograph Petty Officers Third Class Ira Schwartz assigned to Fleet Readiness Center Southeast at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla., left, and Devin Riley from Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic at Naval Ai...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

96th Test Group brings ‘R2-D2′ to life

Courtesy photograph A Rear Cockpit Pallet is mounted in the back of a T-38 Talon Jan. 13, 2015 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. The project to build the RCP began from a need to design a platform that could serve to perform hig...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>