Will Obama Send Military Special Forces To Iraq?
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
President Barack Obama is mulling over the option of sending in a small contingent of U.S. military Special Forces into Iraq, according to CBS News.
While the White House would not confirm this as possibility, spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement:
"The president was very clear that we will not be sending U.S. troops back into combat in Iraq. That remains the case and he has asked his national security team to prepare a range of other options that could help support Iraqi security forces."
Indeed, the Military Times reports the mission of the Special Forces would be limited:
[I]t would focus on training and advising beleaguered Iraqi troops, many of whom have fled their posts across the nation’s north and west as the al-Qaida-inspired insurgency has advanced in the worst threat to the country since American troops left in 2011.
The Associated Press reports U.S. intelligence operatives haven't been allowed in Iraq since 2011, limiting some of Obama's options:
The lack of clear intelligence appears to have shifted President Barack Obama’s immediate focus away from airstrikes in Iraq because officials said there are few obvious targets.
An unnamed U.S. official told the Military Times any Special Forces contingent sent to Iraq would be minimal, with at most 100 Special Forces soldiers. However, there is at least one major hurdle standing in the way of sending in these elite troops:
It’s not clear how quickly the Special Forces could arrive in Iraq. It’s also unknown whether they would remain in Baghdad or be sent to the nation’s north, where the Sunni Muslim insurgency has captured large swaths of territory collaring Baghdad, the capital of the Shiite-led government.
What do you think the United States should do to quell the ISIS uprising in Iraq? Or should anything be done at all? Have your say in our comments section!
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