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Monday, August 11, 2014

Obama will need 15,000 troops in Iraq

The mainstream media and cable television do a terrible job of reporting the news. It's easier for Fox, CNN and MSNBC to analyze what the president said than to dig up real new. Relative to Iraq here are a few stories to keep in mind while Ambassador Boulton is blathering on Greta this evening.
The British have already dispatched special forces to Iraq.
From the Daily Mirror;
British special forces teams have deployed to Iraq to help rescue tens of thousands of refugees fleeing the murderous onslaught of Islamic State fighters. Crack SAS and Special Boat Service operators are helping locate non-Sunni Muslims who have escaped IS - formerly known as ISIS - who are hell-bent on murdering non-believers. American forces today launched devastating air-strikes against IS positions - the first US air attacks on Iraq since they pulled out in 2011.As many as 250,000 escapees are hiding on a Kurdish mountain, desperate to stay one step ahead of IS forces who have already murdered thousands.The fresh IS horror was met with demands for the recall of British Parliament and the announcement that the UK military will be involved again in Iraq. Britain’s Department for International Development announced it will give £8million towards the air drops and the plight of the refugees. A military source said: “The IS threat looks terrifying in all the video nasties and it may seem like they are taking over the whole of the Middle East.“But their lines of communication are now stretched and that will be why America finally has decided to start hitting them with air-strikes.“Trouble is there has to be a small 'boot on the ground' element helping locate the targets and special forces have been deployed to help out.”
And while President Obama has been extremely cryptic about the commitment he is making sources from within and outside the military say the president will need 15,000 troops. The Army Times;
“I think the slippery slope analogy is the right one for Iraq right now,” said Barry Posen, director of the Security Studies program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.On Thursday, Obama authorized a new open-ended operation in response to gains by the Islamic State militants in northern Iraq.For now, the new mission relies on aircraft based outside Iraq. The U.S. will help defend the Kurdish city of Erbil from Islamic State fighters using “targeted air strikes,” Obama said. Those air strikes began Friday morning and included at least three separate bombings before noon, defense officials said.The second mission is a commitment to protect some 40,000 Iraqi Yazidis who are trapped on a mountain surrounded by the militants. That began Thursday night with air drops of food and water for at least 8,000 people. Military experts say tactical commanders will want more ground forces. Forward air controllers could provide more precise targeting information. U.S. advisers could support the Kurdish forces fighting the militants. And U.S. commanders may need to expand their intelligence effort on the ground.In turn, U.S. forces might need a forward operating base with a security perimeter, more force protection and a logistical supply line. Medevac capabilities may require a helicopter detachment and a small aviation maintenance shed.“You’re talking about a 10,000- to 15,000-soldier effort to include maintenance, and medevac and security,” said retired Army Col. Peter Mansoor, who served as executive officer to David Petraeus during the 2007 surge in Iraq and now is a professor of military history at Ohio State University.
There is a counter view with some pointing to the fact that when the U.S. aligned itself with friendly indigenous forces in Afghanistan, the Northern Alliance, Osama bin Laden was driven out of the country by about 100 CIA operatives and 400 Army Rangers. They believe that a similar force aligned with the Kurdish Peshmerga could drive ISIS out of Kurdistan. That may work for pro American Kurdistan where at least one child was named Dick Cheney during the Iraq War but that still leaves the other two thirds of the country to pacify.
To carry out the operation the U.S. also has 100 warplanes and 8 ships ready for combat according to the Navy Times.
While President Obama has vowed that U.S. troops are not returning to Iraq, about 10,000 U.S. troops — mostly Army — are in Kuwait, a defense official said.

All American presidents since H. W. Bush have had to deal with Iraq. Probably many have forgotten that Clinton fired 23 Tomahawk cruise missiles into Iraq after he became aware of an plot to kill George Bush. Obama cannot wish his problems away. Much is made in the media about putting pressure on foreign leaders while forgetting that foreign and domestic leaders can also put pressure on the president. Despite the double talk Obama is marching down the road to yet another war. It's a pity he divided the country when unity is required.
 He is not the master of the ship of state but the republic is stuck with him until it can elect one. Yes I miss George Bush!

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