Dempsey Outlines “Lily Pad” Strategy in Iraq

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the US is considering opening additional bases in Iraq, noting the new training base in Taqaddam could be a model for future efforts. His comments come one day after the White House announced an additional 450 US service members could be deploying to Iraq to support the training, advising, and assist mission there. “Our campaign is built on establishing these ‘lily pads’ that allow us to encourage the Iraqi security forces forward,” said Dempsey, according to a June 11 Pentagon report. “As they go forward, they may exceed the reach of the particular lily pad. We’re looking all the time to see if additional sites might be necessary.” Dempsey said he does not anticipate another training site in Anbar province, but said, “I could envision one in the corridor that runs from Baghdad to Tikrit to Kirkuk over into Mosul.”