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Dempsey Arrives in Baghdad for Anti-ISIL Campaign Talks

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2014 – Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Baghdad, Iraq’s capital city, today in an unannounced visit for talks with U.S. and Iraqi officials on the way ahead in the campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, according to the Voice of America and other news reports.

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U.S. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, talks with U.S. service members during a town hall meeting in Baghdad, Iraq, Nov. 15, 2014. Dempsey addressed questions that ranged from Iraq's long-term ability to resist threats to the U.S. rebalance in the Asia-Pacific. DoD photo by D. Myles Cullen
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Dempsey also met with U.S. service members during a town hall meeting in Baghdad.

Dempsey and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel testified before the House Armed Service Committee Nov. 13 on the progress of the campaign. Dempsey told the House panel that the effort against ISIL is “Iraq first,” not “Iraq only.”

“Broadly, our strategy is to reinforce a credible partner in the Iraqi government and assist regional stakeholders to address the 20 million disenfranchised Sunnis who live between Damascus and Baghdad,” Dempsey told committee. “They have to reject ISIL’s radical ideology from within.”

Dempsey also urged Congress and the American people to develop the strategic patience needed to see the effort through.

The campaign calls on Iraqis and the anti-ISIL coalition to squeeze the extremists from multiple directions, Dempsey told the House committee. The coalition must take on ISIL inside Iraq. It must deny the group safe haven inside Syria.

“We need to take a long view,” the chairman told the House panel.

Many lines of effort must proceed apace including “counter-financing, counter-foreign fighter flow, counter-messaging, humanitarian aid, economic progress, the air campaign, restoring an offensive capability within the Iraqi Security Forces, and a ground campaign managed by the Iraqi Security Forces from the south and the Peshmerga from the north, with contribution from the tribes in particular in al-Anbar and Nineveh,” Dempsey said.

 

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Biographies:
Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey

Related Sites:
Special Report: Travels With Dempsey
Photo Essay: Dempsey Visits Troops, Leaders in Iraq
Special Report: Operation Inherent Resolve-Targeted Operations Against ISIL Terrorists
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Dempsey Urges ‘Strategic Patience’ in Anti-ISIL Campaign


Click photo for screen-resolution imageU.S. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, meets with Shawkat Zebari, chief of staff of the Iraqi Army, in Baghdad, Nov. 15, 2014. Dempsey discussed the progress and achievements of Iraqi Security Forces and the U.S.-led coalition in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. DoD photo by D. Myles Cullen  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageU.S. Ambassador to Iraq Stuart E. Jones greets U.S. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as he arrives in Baghdad, Nov. 15, 2014. Dempsey is visiting deployed U.S. service members, civilians and Iraqi leaders. DoD photo by D. Myles Cullen  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageU.S. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, meets with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Baghdad, Nov. 15, 2014. Dempsey discussed the progress and achievements of Iraqi Security Forces and the U.S.-led coalition in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. DoD photo by D. Myles Cullen  
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