Carter, Dempsey paint bleak picture of Iraq situation

Updated 3:32 PM EDT, Wed June 17, 2015
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BAGHDAD, IRAQ ? OCTOBER 17: Ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein adresses the court during his trial in the heavily fortified Green Zone October 17, 2006 in Baghdad, Iraq. Hussein and six co-defendants have been on trial since August 21, 2006 for the Anfal campaign of bombings and gas attacks against Kurdish rebels in 1987-1988. It is believed the Anfal campaign left up to 180,000 dead.  (Photo by David Furst-Pool/Getty Images)
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BAGHDAD, IRAQ ? OCTOBER 17: Ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein adresses the court during his trial in the heavily fortified Green Zone October 17, 2006 in Baghdad, Iraq. Hussein and six co-defendants have been on trial since August 21, 2006 for the Anfal campaign of bombings and gas attacks against Kurdish rebels in 1987-1988. It is believed the Anfal campaign left up to 180,000 dead. (Photo by David Furst-Pool/Getty Images)
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US Vice President Joe Biden (L) meets with General Lloyd Austin, the commander of United States Forces - Iraq (USF-I), and US ambassador in Iraq James Jeffrey (unseen) at the US embassy upon the former's arrival at Baghdad on a surprise visit on November 29, 2011, during which he is due to meet top Iraqi officials, as American troops depart Iraq ahead of a year-end deadline. AFP PHOTO/AHMAD AL-RUBAYE (Photo credit should read AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)
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US Vice President Joe Biden (L) meets with General Lloyd Austin, the commander of United States Forces - Iraq (USF-I), and US ambassador in Iraq James Jeffrey (unseen) at the US embassy upon the former's arrival at Baghdad on a surprise visit on November 29, 2011, during which he is due to meet top Iraqi officials, as American troops depart Iraq ahead of a year-end deadline. AFP PHOTO/AHMAD AL-RUBAYE (Photo credit should read AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)
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(CNN) —  

America’s two top defense officials presented a dismal outlook on the situation in Iraq Wednesday during testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, even addressing possible U.S. policy if the country’s current borders dissolve.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter conceded that the U.S. did not move quickly enough to arm Iraqi Security Forces in their struggle against ISIS, and disclosed that the U.S. will train just 7,000 of the 24,000 Iraqi troops it had expected to by the fall due to a lack of recruits. Meanwhile, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, cautioned skeptical committee members that there are limits to what America can do to stabilize a country torn by sectarian strife and the advances of ISIS, also known as ISIL.

“I would not recommend that we put U.S. forces in harm’s way simply to stiffen the spine of local forces,” Dempsey said. “If their spine is not stiffened by the threat of ISIL or their way of life, nothing we do is going to stiffen their spine.”

Carter and Dempsey delivered their outline of the Obama administration’s strategy for countering ISIS as it contributes to an increasingly unstable Iraq, 12 years after the launch of the Iraq War. They also discussed training Sunni tribes’ fighters as part of the decision announced last week to send 450 additional U.S. forces to the country.

In explaining why Iraqi forces were not equipped more quickly, Carter said the process was “sometimes delayed by bureaucracy in Baghdad, but occasionally also in Washington.”

“That is why we are now expediting delivery of essential equipment and material, like anti-tank capabilities and counter-IED equipment, to the Iraqi security forces – including Kurdish and Sunni tribal forces,” Carter said.

Carter also said that the U.S. has not been receiving the help it needs from the Iraqi government, repeating a critique he made last month that Iraqi forces showed “no will to fight” during the fall of Ramadi to ISIS forces.

Dempsey, who is retiring shortly, said that a number of factors, including the various regional governments struggling to establish legitimacy, have contributed to the instability which has slowly dragged the U.S. back into the Iraq conflict.

A man from Lancashire who encouraged Islamic extremists to wage jihad in the West, including targeting Prince George and injecting poison in to supermarket ice-cream, has been convicted today (31 May).
Husnain Rashid, 32, posted messages online glorifying successful terrorist atrocities committed by others while encouraging and inciting his readers to plan and commit attacks.
One of his posts included a photograph of Prince George, along with the address of his school, a black silhouette of a jihad fighter and the message ìeven the royal family will not be left aloneî.
His common theme was that attacks could be carried out by one individual acting alone. Rashid suggested perpetrators had the option of using poisons, vehicles, weapons, bombs, chemicals or knives. Rashid uploaded terrorist material to an online library he created with the goal of helping others plan an attack.
He also planned to travel to Turkey and Syria with the intention of fighting in Daesh-controlled territories. He contacted individuals he believed to be in Daesh territory, seeking advice on how to reach Syria and how to obtain the required authorisation necessary to join a fighting group.
Rashid provided one individual who had travelled to Syria and was known online as ìRepunzelî, with information about methods of shooting down aircraft and jamming missile systems.
All the offences relate to Rashidís activities online between October 2016 and his arrest in November 2017.
Rashidís trial started on 23 May at Woolwich Crown Court but he changed his plea to guilty on four counts on 31 May. He will be sentenced on 28 June.
Sue Hemming from the CPS said: ìHusnain Rashid is an extremist who not only sought to encourage others to commit attacks on targets in the West but was planning to travel aboard so he could fight himself.
ìHe tried to argue that he had not done anything illegal but with the overwhelming weight of evidence against him he changed his plea to guilty.
ìThe judge will now deci
PHOTO: Greater Manchester Police
A man from Lancashire who encouraged Islamic extremists to wage jihad in the West, including targeting Prince George and injecting poison in to supermarket ice-cream, has been convicted today (31 May). Husnain Rashid, 32, posted messages online glorifying successful terrorist atrocities committed by others while encouraging and inciting his readers to plan and commit attacks. One of his posts included a photograph of Prince George, along with the address of his school, a black silhouette of a jihad fighter and the message ìeven the royal family will not be left aloneî. His common theme was that attacks could be carried out by one individual acting alone. Rashid suggested perpetrators had the option of using poisons, vehicles, weapons, bombs, chemicals or knives. Rashid uploaded terrorist material to an online library he created with the goal of helping others plan an attack. He also planned to travel to Turkey and Syria with the intention of fighting in Daesh-controlled territories. He contacted individuals he believed to be in Daesh territory, seeking advice on how to reach Syria and how to obtain the required authorisation necessary to join a fighting group. Rashid provided one individual who had travelled to Syria and was known online as ìRepunzelî, with information about methods of shooting down aircraft and jamming missile systems. All the offences relate to Rashidís activities online between October 2016 and his arrest in November 2017. Rashidís trial started on 23 May at Woolwich Crown Court but he changed his plea to guilty on four counts on 31 May. He will be sentenced on 28 June. Sue Hemming from the CPS said: ìHusnain Rashid is an extremist who not only sought to encourage others to commit attacks on targets in the West but was planning to travel aboard so he could fight himself. ìHe tried to argue that he had not done anything illegal but with the overwhelming weight of evidence against him he changed his plea to guilty. ìThe judge will now deci
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FILE - In this undated file photo released by a militant website, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, militants of the Islamic State group hold up their weapons and wave flags on their vehicles in a convoy on a road leading to Iraq, while riding in Raqqa, Syria. Simultaneous attacks on the Islamic State-held city of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa, the de facto IS capital across the border in eastern Syria, would make military sense: They would make it harder for the extremists to move reinforcements and deny them a safe haven. (Militant website via AP, File)
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FILE - In this undated file photo released by a militant website, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, militants of the Islamic State group hold up their weapons and wave flags on their vehicles in a convoy on a road leading to Iraq, while riding in Raqqa, Syria. Simultaneous attacks on the Islamic State-held city of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa, the de facto IS capital across the border in eastern Syria, would make military sense: They would make it harder for the extremists to move reinforcements and deny them a safe haven. (Militant website via AP, File)
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(FILES) This image grab taken from a propaganda video released on July 5, 2014 by al-Furqan Media allegedly shows the leader of the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, aka Caliph Ibrahim, adressing Muslim worshippers at a mosque in the militant-held northern Iraqi city of Mosul. 
The Russian army on June 16, 2017 said it hit Islamic State leaders in an airstrike in Syria last month and was seeking to verify whether IS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been killed. In a statement, the army said Sukhoi warplanes carried out a 10-minute night-time strike on May 28 at a location near Raqa, where IS leaders had gathered to plan a pullout by militants from the group's stronghold.
 / AFP PHOTO / AL-FURQAN MEDIA / --/AFP/Getty Images
(FILES) This image grab taken from a propaganda video released on July 5, 2014 by al-Furqan Media allegedly shows the leader of the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, aka Caliph Ibrahim, adressing Muslim worshippers at a mosque in the militant-held northern Iraqi city of Mosul. The Russian army on June 16, 2017 said it hit Islamic State leaders in an airstrike in Syria last month and was seeking to verify whether IS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been killed. In a statement, the army said Sukhoi warplanes carried out a 10-minute night-time strike on May 28 at a location near Raqa, where IS leaders had gathered to plan a pullout by militants from the group's stronghold. / AFP PHOTO / AL-FURQAN MEDIA / --/AFP/Getty Images
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