America's top military leader arrived Saturday in Iraq, state television reported, his first visit to the country since a U.S.-led coalition began a campaign of airstrikes targeting the
The visit by Army Gen.
The Iraqi military and security forces, trained by the U.S. at the cost of billions of dollars, melted away in the face of the Islamic State's stunning offensive this summer, when they captured most of northern and western Iraq, including the country's second-largest city, Mosul.
Dempsey said Thursday that Iraqi forces were doing a better job now, although an effort to move into Mosul or restore the border with Syria would require more complex operations.
"I'm not predicting at this point that I would recommend that those forces in Mosul and along the border would need to be accompanied by U.S. forces, but we're certainly considering it," he told the U.S. House Armed Services Committee.
He added that the U.S. has a modest force in Iraq now, and "any expansion of that, I think, would be equally modest. I just don't foresee a circumstance when it would be in our interest to take this fight on ourselves with a large military contingent."
Dempsey's visit comes just one day after Iraqi forces drove Islamic State