There will be boots on the ground in the fight against ISIS – just not American boots, according to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

But top military leaders have said that the administration should not rule out the option of placing U.S. troops in combat roles.

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Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said the anti-ISIS coalition is the right way forward, but if there are threats to the U.S., his recommendation to Obama could include boots on the ground.

Former CENTCOM commander-in-chief Gen. Anthony Zinni said that the priority should have been getting U.S. forces on the ground in the fight against ISIS.

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates echoed a need for boots on the ground to defeat ISIS.

Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis said that the U.S. should not "reassure the enemy" in advance that it will not face our combat troops.

Gen. Ray Odierno, Army chief of staff, said airstrikes alone will not defeat ISIS.