Obama says it again: No ground troops in Iraq
"As your commander in chief, I will not commit you and the rest of our armed forces to fighting another ground war in Iraq. After a decade of massive ground deployments it is more effective to use our unique capabilities in support of partners on the ground so they can secure their own countries' futures. And that is the only solution that will succeed over the long term," the president added....
Go watch the video proof of Obama stressing no combat Troops on the ground, and read the rest of the article. Is it just me, or do those Troops used as backdrop for that speech look as unbelieving as some of us civvies are?
Fast forward to this week. After repeating again that the US has no strategy to fight ISIS in Iraq, and getting justifiable criticism for that stance, Obama's admin now has this:
Release No: NR-225-15
June 10, 2015
Statement from the Department of Defense on Additional U.S. Personnel to Deploy to Iraq
The commander in chief has authorized Secretary of Defense Ash Carter to deploy to Iraq up to 450 additional U.S. personnel in a non-combat role, to expand our advise and assist mission at Taqaddum Air Base in support of the Government of Iraq.
The intent of this increase will be to provide personnel to assist with planning, integration and support of Iraqi Security Forces and tribal forces as they fight to retake the Ramadi and Fallujah corridor. U.S. forces will provide operational advice and planning support the Iraqi Security Forces, to include the 8th Iraqi Army Division and other security forces associated with the Government of Iraq. This mission will also enable tribal outreach as part of the plan Prime Minister Al-Abadi led the Council of Ministers in passing on May 19 to accelerate the training and equipping of local tribes in coordination with Anbar authorities.
This decision does not represent a change in mission, but rather adds another location for DoD to conduct similar activities in more areas in Iraq. U.S. forces continue to perform an advisory, training, and support role and are not conducting offensive ground combat operations. [emphasis mine] The additional site will result in an increase in DoD force levels to up to 3,550 personnel.
Ultimately, these Iraqi forces will enable Iraq to better defend its citizens and retake its territory from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). This effort is in keeping with our overarching strategy to work with partners on the ground to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL....
As I always ask: Do the Terrorists know that our Troops are not there as combat Troops? Did they get the memo?
Allen West appears to share my cynicism:
June 11, 2015Allen West has more here, and for me he has always FAR more credibility since he has been 'boots on the ground' in Iraq. He IS a Veteran.
There are two words everyone who has served or is serving in the military does not want to hear: mission creep. It has been the deadly episode in the history of military operations throughout time. It is the piecemeal commitment of forces into a nebulous endeavor with no clear guidance or intent – basically no strategy. And those who commit warriors into the cauldron of uncertainty are doing solely to maintain a weak facade of taking action.
And so it is, just days after Commander-in-Chief Obama announced to the world ten months after first stating he did not have a strategy to combat ISIS, that he STILL doesn’t have a strategy, the White House announces it will send another 450 troops into Iraq as trainers.
No clear guidance was issued other than an intent to train more Iraqi troops. Sadly, we now have a little over 3,400 “trainers” in Iraq and only 2,598 Iraqi Soldiers in training. Of that number there are 800 Kurds and 1798 Shia, and no Sunnis are being trained. Do y’all see the laughable irony? We have more “trainers” in Iraq than those being trained....
I have to wonder if there is ANYbody left who believes ANYthing that comes out of this administration.