From AP - News National/International -

Dempsey Won’t Rule Out The Use Of Ground Forces

Members of protest group CodePink interrupt a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing

Members of the anti-war activist group CodePink interrupt a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (left) and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says that under certain circumstances he would recommend deploying ground forces to Iraq.

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey told a Senate panel today that the plan is for Americans to serve strictly as advisers and not get directly involved in fighting against Islamic State militants.

But he says if Iraqi forces were to take on a complex mission to retake Mosul from the militants, he might want U.S. troops to accompany them.

Under questioning today at the Senate hearing, Dempsey also said that if a U.S. pilot were to get shot down, American forces would be prepared to conduct a search-and-rescue mission.

And he said if the expanded air campaign fails, he'd recommend that the president consider deploying ground forces -- if he believes U.S. advisers should accompany Iraqi troops on attacks against specific targets held by the Islamic State group.
 
President Barack Obama has maintained that American forces will not have a combat mission in Iraq.
 
As the hearing took place, Obama met at the White House with a retired general who is coordinating international efforts. House Republicans, meanwhile, privately reviewed legislation that would grant the administration's request to train and equip the forces who will combat the militants.