Gen. Raymond Odierno, the U.S. Army chief of staff, introduced the possibility of U.S. military personnel embedding with Iraqi security forces during battle.
“Embedded advisers, with increased risk to our soldiers, probably would make this more effective,” the general said Thursday, Defense One reported. “You have to weigh the risk versus the outcome.”
Iraqi security forces were dealt an embarrassing defeat May 17 when the Islamic State group took control of Ramadi. A series of coordinated suicide bombings prompted the Iraqis to flee, leaving U.S.-supplied equipment behind.
The general also said during the Defense Writers Group breakfast on Thursday that a large combat presence was not an option.
“I absolutely do not agree with — right now — us putting U.S.[combat] forces on the ground,” he said. “I am adamant about that. It would not be helpful at all,” Gen. Odierno said, Defense One reported.
In October 2014, the general told reporters at the Association of the United States Army that he was “somewhat confident” that Iraqi security forces were up to the task of taking on the Islamic State group.
“We’ll have to see what plays out over the coming days,” he said on Oct. 13, 2014. Baghdad was preparing for the prospect of a siege by the Sunni terrorist group at the time.