Military chief voices concerns about fight against ISIS

WASHINGTON (AP) — Once the Islamic State group is defeated — what happens next in Iraq? According to the top U.S. military officer, there’s reason for concern about that.

Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate panel that there are fears that militiamen backed by Iran, who are Shiite, will turn against Sunni Iraqis — further destabilizing that country.

He joined Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Ash Carter in testifying in support of President Barack Obama’s request for new war powers to fight the Islamic State group.

Dempsey said anything that anyone does to counter the militant group is a “positive thing.”

Democrats are concerned that the president’s request for new war powers will lead to a full-scale U.S. ground war in the Mideast. But Republicans are concerned that the resolution won’t go far enough, and will limit what the president can do against the Islamic State.

Republican Bob Corker, who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee, said he doesn’t know of any Senate Democrats who would support the authorization.

Obama’s proposal would allow the use of military force against the group for three years. Republicans say Obama shouldn’t have excluded a long-term commitment of ground forces.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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