US military leaders present strategy to Congress on fight against ISIL

Islamic Extremism

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, right, accompanied by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Top U.S military leaders updated Congress on the fight against ISIL in Syria and Iraq on Thursday. The battle has taken on new urgency, as al-Qaida vows to join the fight as ISIL’s ally in Syria.

U.S military involvement has been limited to air attacks against ISIL targets and advising Iraqi troops. Critics of President Obama question whether the U.S. will have to commit ground forces and if the campaign working. CCTV America’s Sean Callebs reported this story from Washington, D.C.

“Since I testified before this Committee two months ago, our campaign against ISIL has made progress,” said U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

The U.S. led coalition against ISIL, now has 16 partners and has launched more than 130 air strikes against Islamic State targets. Secretary Hagel said the attacks are making an impact.

“This pressure is having an effect on potential ISIL recruits and collaborators, striking a blow to morale and recruitment. We know that. Our intelligence is very clear on that,” he said.

The U.S. says it will take 80,000 well trained Iraqi and Peshmerga troops to drive ISIL forces from Iraq, back to Syria.

Republicans are critical of Obama’s plan saying that thousands of ISIL troops will be able to alter their attack tactics and won’t be an easy target for U.S. fighter pilots and drones. The head of the House Armed Services Committee openly wondered if U.S. advisers and trainers will be enough to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic State.

“Limiting out advisers to headquarter buildings will not help newly trained Iraqi and Syrian opposition forces to hold terrain, much less defeat ISIL in the field,” said Rep. Buck Mckeon.

Hagel is adamant U.S. ground troops won’t be needed And, military intervention is NOT going to be enough.