US open to direct action against Islamic State

During testimony to a US Senate committee, US defense secretary Ash Carter says the US “won’t hold back” from conducting direct action on the ground against Islamic State Militants.

130925-D-BW835-074Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter briefs the press at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., on Sept. 25, 2013.  Carter announced three reviews of security at Department of Defense installations in the wake of the Navy Yard shootings.  The Office of the Secretary of Defense will lead one review and an independent panel will head another.  These two reviews will focus on assessing the physical security and access at DoD installations to identify vulnerabilities.  They will also examine the security clearance and reinvestigation process to identify any shortcomings and what steps to take to tighten the standards for granting and renewing a security clearance.  The Department of the Navy is leading the third review, which will examine physical security at all Navy and Marine Corps installations worldwide.  DoD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo.  (Released)

DoD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo. (Released)

Islamic State have taken swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria over the past 12 months. During this time, IS have been accused of committing horrendous and barbaric acts of violence including the murder of men, women and children. Despite an ongoing air campaign and support for rebel groups on the ground, both the US have yet to commit ground troops in capacities beyond advice and support for local groups.

The comments made by Mr Carter has re-opened the discussion and debate about the commitment of ground troops into the conflict from nations such as the US, UK and those opposed to the regime of Islamic State. The comments follow a video released this week of US special forces working with Kurdish troops on an operation where a number of militants were killed.



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