A day after a top US general raised the possibility of US ground troops in the fight against ISIS, President Obama reiterated the promise he's been making of late: "I will not commit you, and the rest of our armed forces, to fighting another ground war in Iraq," the president told troops at US Central Command in Tampa, Fla., reports USA Today. American forces “do not and will not have a combat mission,” he said. “They will support Iraqi forces on the ground as they fight for their own country against these terrorists.” Obama, however, seems to be leaving himself room to maneuver though the use of special forces, not combat troops, observes the LA Times.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey told a Senate panel yesterday that under certain circumstances—in heavily populated areas such as Mosul, for instance, where airstrikes might not be effective—he might recommend to Obama that special forces enter the fray on the ground to guide Iraqi units. The New York Times is worried: "There is no way to read this other than as a reversal from the firm commitment Mr. Obama made not to immerse the country in another endless ground war in the Middle East," says an editorial today.