White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest pushed back against the notion that President Obama was prepared to consider a plan to send ground troops into combat.
Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey explained yesterday that Obama asked him to “come back to him on a case-by-case basis” on the use of ground troops.
But Earnest pushed back strongly against the notion, suggesting that any use of ground troops was counter to the mission against ISIS.
“That is not an option that the president will consider,” Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One, referring to U.S. troops “personally or directly engaging the enemy in combat on the ground.”
Earnest pushed back against the skepticism raised by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who suggested in a recent interview that it would be difficult to destroy ISIS without the use of ground troops.
Instead, Earnest suggested that it would be possible for “forward deployment of US military advisers” in the fight against ISIL.
Earnest warned that getting ground troops drawn into combat “didn’t always end with us maximizing the benefits of our own national security.”