Palazzo asked Dempsey whether the administration was succeeding in cutting off funding for the radical group and was told he could learn more in a classified setting. His comments suggest that Obama could face growing pressure from conservative hawks over his handling of the conflict in Iraq when Republicans control Congress in next year.
Palazzo criticized Obama for vowing not to reintroduce U.S. combat troops to the war-torn country, saying that he shouldn’t be “telling our enemies what we’re gonna do and what we’re not gonna do.”
In a news conference Sunday in Australia at the end of his trip to Asia, the president sounded more circumspect in addressing the issue. “Yes, there’s always a circumstance in which the United States needs to deploy ground troops,” Obama said, and suggested a hypothetical scenario such as the Islamic State obtaining a nuclear weapon.
Palazzo, who attended the Reagan National Defense Forum in California over the weekend, said he is not personally calling for the immediate deployment of U.S. troops to Iraq.