Chuck Hagel – U.S. may need non-combat ground troops to help turn back ISIS

January 31, 2015 6:37 am

Outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in an interview on Friday
the might eventually need to send non-combat ground
troops to Iraq to help turn back Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ()
forces.

 Hagel also said he had conflicts with White House officials on releasing
prisoners from the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay. (File
photo: Reuters) 

Hagel, who announced his resignation under pressure in
November, told CNN all options must be considered in Iraq, including
sending troops for non-combat roles such as gathering intelligence and
locating ISIS targets.
“I think it may require a forward
deployment of some of our troops …,” he said. “I would say we’re not
there yet. Whether we get there or not, I don’t know.”
Hagel’s
comments echoed testimony by General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff, to Congress last fall when he said U.S. troops
might have to take a larger role on the ground in Iraq.
Such a deployment would be in addition to the 4,500 U.S. troops already committed to training and advising roles in Iraq.
Hagel
also said he had conflicts with White House officials on releasing
prisoners from the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
As
secretary of defense, Hagel authorized which prisoners would be
released and when. He told CNN that the White House did not agree with
his cautious approach, saying there were disagreements on “the pace of
the releases.”
Asked by CNN if he had been pressured, Hagel said,
“we’ve had a lot of conversations” with the White House and Congress on
the releases.

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