MILITARY

Pentagon's Carter, Dempsey will be asked to defend White House policy on Mideast at hearing

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter waits to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 17, 2015, before the House Armed Services Committee hearing on the U.S. policy and strategy in the Middle East. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

    Defense Secretary Ash Carter waits to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 17, 2015, before the House Armed Services Committee hearing on the U.S. policy and strategy in the Middle East. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)  (The Associated Press)

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter, left, followed by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, arrive on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 17, 2015,  to testify before the House Armed Services Committee hearing on the U.S. policy and strategy in the Middle East. The committee's ranking member, Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., is at right. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

    Defense Secretary Ash Carter, left, followed by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, arrive on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 17, 2015, to testify before the House Armed Services Committee hearing on the U.S. policy and strategy in the Middle East. The committee's ranking member, Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., is at right. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this March 18, 2015, file photo, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, questions Defense Secretary Ash Carter as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. Two of America's top military leaders will be asked to defend President Barack Obama's handling of the tinderbox of violence and struggle in the Middle East when they appear Wednesday, June 17, 2015, before the House Armed Services Committee. Thornberry, the committee chairman, said he planned to ask Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,  questions about the military component of U.S. strategy to reverse the downward spiral in the Middle East and protect American interests.(AP Photo/Molly Riley, File)

    FILE - In this March 18, 2015, file photo, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, questions Defense Secretary Ash Carter as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. Two of America's top military leaders will be asked to defend President Barack Obama's handling of the tinderbox of violence and struggle in the Middle East when they appear Wednesday, June 17, 2015, before the House Armed Services Committee. Thornberry, the committee chairman, said he planned to ask Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, questions about the military component of U.S. strategy to reverse the downward spiral in the Middle East and protect American interests.(AP Photo/Molly Riley, File)  (The Associated Press)

Two of America's top military leaders will be defending President Barack Obama's handling of the tinderbox of violence and struggle in the Middle East.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are to appear Wednesday before the House Armed Services Committee.

Rep. Mac Thornberry, the panel's chairman, said this is a perilous time in the Middle East and that U.S. policy and strategy are inadequate.

Carter and Dempsey will almost certainly be quizzed about U.S. strategy to quell the advance of Islamic State militants.

The White House last week announced the U.S. would send up to 450 troops to a new base in western Iraq, mainly to advise the Iraqis on planning and execution of a counteroffensive against IS.