Perhaps Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey did not intend to make the startling admissions he did when he appeared on ABC News on Sunday morning. Perhaps the chairman did not seek to confirm for the public that the Islamic State’s advance in Iraq has been more effective and wider spread than previously reported. Maybe he did not set out to corroborate the increasingly evident fact that the coalition air war against ISIS is failing to achieve its objectives. He probably did not want to do these things, but that is what he accomplished.
Reports broke late last weeks that the United States had dramatically shifted tactics in Iraq when they introduced Apache attack helicopters into that theater of operations. They were reportedly used in assaults on Islamic State mortar teams and other personnel near the city of Fallujah, according to a spokesman for Central Command. That infamous city lies 73 kilometers from Baghdad.
But, in his appearance on ABC, Dempsey said that those Apaches were used to stem an assault on Iraqi forces which were protecting a clear pathway to Baghdad’s airport.
“The tool that was immediately available was the Apache,” Dempsey told Raddatz. “This is the case where, you’re not going to wait till they’re climbing over the wall.