American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 19, 2014 – Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, discussed the situation in Iraq in a note to troops issued today.
The text of Dempsey’s note follows:
"Many of you have served in Iraq or know friends and family who made great sacrifices there. I spent several years leading troops in Iraq and lost many good soldiers.
“I'm proud of what we, along with our Iraqi and coalition partners accomplished. We provided the Iraqi people an historic opportunity for a better future. Nothing will diminish that accomplishment.
“Like many of you, I was disappointed at how quickly the situation in Iraq deteriorated as well as the rapid collapse of many Iraqi units.
“These events are part of a broader, regional struggle that extends from Baghdad to Beirut to Damascus. They reflect the political instabilities in the region and poor political choices by Iraq's leaders -- choices that fueled already complex and deep-seated sectarian tensions.
“The path forward will not be easy. And, as always, we in the military are preparing options for the President to consider in addressing the emerging threats there."