military advisers, already deployed to Iraq, into combat if necessary.
"At this juncture, our advisers are intended to help the Iraqis develop a mindset for the offensive and the actions to match it," Gen. Martin Dempsey said in his opening statement. "Our military advisers will help the Iraqis conduct campaign planning, arrange for enabler and logistics support, and coordinate coalition contributions. To be clear, if we reach the point where I believe our advisers should accompany Iraqi troops on attacks against specific ISIL targets, I will recommend that to the President."
Dempsey's argument, which he made several times under questioning, contradicts Obama's promise that the campaign to defeat and destroy the terrorist group that calls itself the "Islamic State" would not include American "boots on the ground." The contradiction will probably force the White House to answer a central question: How is serving as "close combat advisers" -- in Dempsey's words -- not a combat role?