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Ret. Ft. Bragg general: Ground troops likely to fight ISIL

Posted September 16, 2014

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— A former Fort Bragg Commander says the United States should use all of its resources to defeat Islamic State forces in the Middle East.

Ret. Gen. Dan McNeill – who commanded troops at Fort Bragg and helped lead the fight against the Taliban after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks – said Tuesday that, while unmanned drone air strikes will slow down the terrorist group, ground troops will eventually be needed to win the fight.

"Boots on the ground give you a truer picture," McNeill said. "I'm not advocating boots on the ground to pursue this particular threat, but I don't back away from my statement. If it is as serious as some people say, then why aren't we applying all elements of American power to it?"

McNeill said America can expect a long fight against the current terrorist threat.

"Like it or not, we have to take it on," he said.

His remarks came the same day that Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he will recommend ground troops if President Barack Obama's current strategy of expanded airstrikes and training Syrian rebels fails.

Obama has insisted no soldiers will fight on the ground in the military mission.

"If there are threats to the United States, then I, of course, would go back to the president and make a recommendation that may include the use of U.S. military ground forces," Dempsey said.

In a nationally televised address last week, the president said the U.S. must "degrade" and "destroy" the extremist group.

The U.S. began attacking the group known as ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) with airstrikes in Iraq last month. Since then, the group has beheaded two American journalists who were being held captive in Syria.

As part of the effort against the Islamic State group, Secretary of State John Kerry formally announced Saturday that retired Marine Gen. John Allen was joining the State Department as a special presidential envoy to coordinate the international coalition.

Allen worked with international allies as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan from 2011-2013.


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  • lazyrebel Sep 17, 2014

    We should have dropped a nuc after 9/11 that would have scared the world. If we find a large concentration of these t hugs, I say nuc them and don't worry what the world says about civilian deaths, these guys kill civilians.

  • maybetoolatedixon2 Sep 17, 2014

    Sorry BMAC. I made this statement based on my time in the military. I wish all Generals had a little General McNeill in them.

  • btneast Sep 17, 2014

    You say that he is the Best man you can Meet and than you say How did he ever Make General?????????????? Because making it to General in any branch usually involves a lot of politics and NOT being straight forward.....it was a compliment

  • busyb97 Sep 17, 2014

    View quoted thread

    I think the implication is "how do really good guys get ahead in this day and age of politics and deception?!"

  • bmac813 Sep 17, 2014

    View quoted thread

    You say that he is the Best man you can Meet and than you say How did he ever Make General?????????????? You sound Like Obama Double Talking.

  • SaveEnergyMan Sep 17, 2014

    I am afraid the good general is right. This is mostly the product of western lust for things and poor decisions by Europe/USA to extract oil from the Middle East in exchange for lots of money. The simple folk there weren't ready for the 20th century, western style borders that ignore tribal boundaries, and the power given arbitrarily to a few.

    The powerless have rallied around religion and destruction of their culture to wage a war against those few, taking advantage of naïve youth. It is fueled by more oil money for another few to gain the power and control the local western appointed leaders have.

    Without the oil, there is no power, but we can't go back now. In the end, it's only about power and money, not faith. We need to work on bringing the general population into at least the 20th century, giving the people control over their money.

    Islam was once a religion of tolerance in an intolerant Europe of the dark ages. Now the situation is ironically flipped.

  • ospreysilver Sep 17, 2014

    I think it is fair to say over the past 10yrs and 2 trillion spent maybe sending more troops and bombing won't bring peace to the region. Its not like ISIL has anything else to do other than fight! I say for $30 you can arm a citizen with a AK and if they really hate ISIL as much as everyone says they will kill them off themselves.

  • maybetoolatedixon2 Sep 17, 2014

    This General is one of the best men you could ever meet. His being so straight forward, not even close to being a politician and loyal concern for his troops, one wonders how he made a General in the first place. He is correct in saying that this will take a long time.