A senior retired U.S. military official with close ties to the current Joint Chiefs of Staff reported this weekend that frictions between JCS Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey and the White House have intensified in recent days over issues of war and peace and U.S. military deployments. According to the source, the White House has ordered the Chiefs to prepare contingency plans for a move into Syria to seize control over the reported large stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons. In response, Gen. Dempsey told the Administration that a minimum of 5,000 special forces personnel would be needed for such an operation, an obvious attempt to rebuff any plans for direct U.S. military engagement. Gen. Dempsey reportedly told the White House that the locations of the chemical weapons were known, and that they were mostly on heavily fortified military bases around the country. Was President Obama considering ordering U.S. forces to launch assaults on those Syrian military compounds?
While specifics of the Obama response are not known, the source indicated that the President is not happy with Gen. Dempsey, who has been a pivotal player in the U.S. war-avoidance effort, ever since the Qaddafi assassination in particular. There are credible reports, according to the source, that Obama could move to dump Dempsey and replace him with Admiral William McRaven, the currrent head of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) and the man who oversaw the Bin Laden operation.