U.S. aircraft are coming back from most combat missions in Iraq without dropping any bombs, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin Dempsey said Tuesday.
“At a similar period in the Afghanistan conflict in 2012, the number of aircraft that returned with their ordnance because there were not targets available on the ground was 83 percent,” Dempsey told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “It’s 65 percent in Iraq right now.”
Dempsey was responding to Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., who was pressing Dempsey on why he has not recommended to President Obama that the U.S. embed joint terminal attack controllers with Iraqi troops to better coordinate airstrikes.
“The JTACs and the Special Forces observers are not a silver bullet to the destruction of ISIS,” Dempsey said. “The silver bullet is getting the Iraqis to fight.”