Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Military

How Many US Service Members Are Now In Iraq? (Video)

Violence in Iraq, 2014.
The Pentagon Channel
Violence in Iraq, 2014.

The Pentagon made an attempt Tuesday to clear up confusion on exactly how many U.S. troops are currently in Iraq.

Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters there are 770 U.S. service members in Iraq, working on two distinct, different missions:

Some are providing security assistance, and the rest are serving with assessment and advisory teams at the joint operations center in Baghdad.

OK, so here is how the total of 770 was reached (more or less)...

First, CBS News reminds us:

Prior to the crisis, there were 100 members from the U.S. Office of Security Cooperation who handle regular arms sales to Iraq.

Then, after the crisis:

-June 16: 270 troops authorized to go to Iraq, 170 actually sent to Iraq.

-June 27: 300 troops authorized to go to Iraq, 180 actually sent to Iraq.

-June 30: 300 troops authorized to go to Iraq, 300 actually sent to Iraq.

If my math is correct, 170+180+300+(100 troops predate crisis)=750

A little off from Kirby's 770, but there is an ebb and flow between the number of service members the Pentagon has authorized to go to Iraq, and the number of troops who've actually arrived in country.

CBS News arrives at a total of 750 as well, whereas CNN comes to 800:

What questions do you have about the Statewide General Election coming up on Nov. 8? Submit your questions here, and we'll try to answer them in our reporting.