Saturday June 20, 2015
The story published in the Washington Post on 13 June shows how the US military service chiefs - who make decisions on war policy in light of their own institutional interests - prefer an inconclusive war with IS and existing constraints on US involvement, to one with even the most US limited combat role.
The resistance of top US military officials to deepening US military involvement in the war against IS came in the wake of a major policy debate within the Obama administration following the collapse of Iraqi military resistance in Ramadi.
In that debate, senior State Department officials reportedly supported the option of putting US advisers into Iraqi combat units to direct airstrikes on IS positions and sending US Apache attack helicopters into urban combat situations. But the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey, joined top military commanders in opposing that option, the Post story recounted. Dempsey was said to have concluded that the potential gains from such an escalation were not worth the costs in terms of possible US combat losses.