U.S. General Martin Dempsey says U.S. military ground forces may be necessary to fight Islamic State if Obama's current policy fails. Vanessa Johnston reports.
At the White House and on Capitol Hill, Washington is preparing for war. The accelerated campaign against Islamic State militants will include more airstrikes in both Iraq and - for the first time - Syria. And despite President Obama's repeated assurances of a "no boots on the ground" policy, Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey told a Senate panel, things could change. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. GENERAL MARTIN DEMPSEY SAYING: "If there are threats to the United States, then of course, I would go back to the president and make a recommendation that may include the use of U.S. military ground forces." U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was then asked about funding. (SOUNDBITE) (English) OKLAHOMA REPUBLICAN SENATOR JIM INHOFE SAYING: "Where are we on our funding? Are we adequate?" (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEFENCE SECRETARY CHUCK HAGEL "No, is the first basic answer, but the budget we will be coming up here presenting, as you know in a few months, will contain what we believe is going to be required to carry forward." And the the man appointed to lead the Global Coalition against Islamic State...is retired U.S. Marine Corps General, John Allen. He'll be leading an effort that is already raising concerns among anti-war protestors ..and some Republicans who question whether it goes far enough. Either way, the stage is being set for yet more US intervention in a crisis overseas.