President Obama said he’d break his promise to keep U.S. ground troops out of the fight in Iraq and Syria if the Islamic State gets its hands on a nuclear weapon.
At the G-20 summit in Australia on Monday, the president responded to comments made by Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Martin Dempsey, who said last week the Pentagon was “considering” deploying ground troops to directly confront the brutal terrorist group.
Obama played down the general’s assertion, but also drew a red line over a frightening hypothetical. “There are always circumstances in which the United States might need to deploy U.S. ground troops,” he said. “If we discover that ISIL had gotten possession of a nuclear weapon . . . then yes, you can anticipate that not only would Chairman Dempsey recommend me sending U.S. ground troops to get that weapon out of their hands, but I would order it.”