Biden: US ground troops not needed in Iraq, but will determine 'based on how effort goes'

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Vice President Joe Biden is apparently leaving the door open to U.S. ground troops helping Iraqi security forces repel Islamic State militants.

During a visit to a neighborhood cafe in Des Moines, Iowa, Biden was asked if he agreed with comments Tuesday by Gen. Martin Dempsey, the top U.S. military officer. Dempsey told a congressional committee that American ground troops may be needed to battle Islamic State forces if President Barack Obama's current strategy of expanded air strikes fails.

Referring to Dempsey, Biden replied that Dempsey's "conclusion is that it is not needed now." Biden added: "We'll determine that based on how the effort goes."

The White House has repeatedly rejected the possibility of sending U.S. troops into Iraq for combat missions.

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