Boots on the ground: Obama sending “small number” of Special Forces troops to assist Iraq; Update: 275 personnel

posted at 5:21 pm on June 16, 2014 by Allahpundit

Via Guy Benson, who reminds me that this isn’t the first time the White House has advertised the smallness — the “unbelievable” smallness — of an intervention to make it easier to sell to voters.

Supposedly the troops they’re sending are only going to train and advise the Iraqis. What’s the advice, exactly? “Don’t run away“?

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 al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has overrun several cities in the worst threat to the Shiite-led government since U.S. troops left in 2011…

The mission almost certainly would be small: one U.S. official said it could be up to 100 special forces soldiers. It also could be authorized only as an advising and training mission — meaning the soldiers would work closely with Iraqi forces that are fighting the insurgency but not officially be considered as combat troops.

The troops would fall under the authority of the U.S. ambassador and would not be authorized to engage in combat, another U.S. official said. Their mission is “non-operational training” of both regular and counter terrorism units, which the military has interpreted to mean training on military bases, not in the field, the official said.

That’s the ostensible purpose of the mission. Now, what’s the real purpose? A hundred Special Forces troops aren’t going to be a gamechanger in an advisory role, especially with Baghdad already being threatened by ISIS. If Obama’s going to risk a second Mogadishu by putting them in harm’s way, knowing how little appetite America has for more U.S. casualties in Iraq, he’s got a good reason. One possibility: These guys are supposed to liaise somehow with anti-jihadi Sunni elements in areas controlled (or soon to be controlled) by ISIS, in hopes of kickstarting a new “Awakening” and getting American arms flowing to the resistance. Says the Daily Beast, “some of the people fighting with Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) are former U.S. allies who could be turned against the hard-core fanatics—if they can be identified.” Another possibility is to pave the way for airstrikes. Hitting ISIS from the air is harder than some people think, not just because things are so fluid on the ground but because the Shiite government is an even less reliable partner right now than it used to be:

Ideally, you’d want to base your aircraft as close to your targets as possible, to maximize the number of sorties each plane could fly, instead of spending hours en route to the targets. The U.S. may press Maliki for permission to base U.S. aircraft inside Iraq, if the White House agrees that doesn’t violate President Obama’s bar on putting combat troops inside the country. They also could be based in the Kurdish north of the country, or in neighboring nations.

But missiles without good intelligence to guide them to the right targets are simply indiscriminate IEDs that could kill friendly forces, or even civilians. That’s why some military experts argue there need to be U.S., or at least allied, spotters on the ground—no one is willing to trust targets selected by Maliki’s military—to ensure destruction happens in the right place. “You could put [U.S.] Special Forces on the ground with the Iraqis to advise them and get frontline intelligence and to control air strikes,” says Anthony Zinni, a retired four-star Marine general who served as chief of U.S. Central Command. But that, too, could run afoul of Obama’s bar on U.S. troops on the ground inside Iraq.

If you want trustworthy intelligence inside Iraq, your only option is American troops. The Special Forces team is probably there mainly for surveillance, to pick up tips on ISIS movements and relay them to American air assets. And of course there’s a third possibility in honor of the McCain/Graham spat, that U.S. troops are on the ground to coordinate with Iranian military elements that are already inside the country and, maybe, to provide a U.S. counterweight to Iran in influencing Maliki’s maneuvering. And if worse comes to worst and ISIS ends up overrunning Baghdad anyway, hey — you’ll have 100 of the best troops in the world right there to help get everyone out of the embassy before the barbarians run wild and start chopping off heads.

Update: For what it’s worth.


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Bishop

Wino on June 16, 2014 at 10:04 PM

I’d prefer to be running about 50-100 off the ground at about 120 kts against a Stinger.

hawkdriver on June 16, 2014 at 9:02 PM

that is the best way to beat a stinger? Gen. Scales was on Fox saying that they can get thru chaff. Yikes

8 weight on June 16, 2014 at 10:05 PM

it’s more than 275. It’s a total of 4 warships including the USS Mesa Verde which carries 550 combat marines and 5 Osprey aircraft.

Concerning the stinger missiles, 20,000 soviet manpads disappeared from Libya.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/thousands-of-libyan-missiles-from-qaddafi-era-missing-in-action/

pc253 on June 16, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Former HotAir contributor J.E.Dyer also has an excellent posting up over at Liberty Unyielding for those interested in a more thorough examination of ISIS and their plans for Iraq.

http://libertyunyielding.com/2014/06/16/isis-iraq-pause-assault-baghdad/

can_con on June 16, 2014 at 10:08 PM

10 to 1 says there’s a putting green in there.

faraway on June 16, 2014 at 9:59 PM

full simulator golf or just a green and his putter??

going2mars on June 16, 2014 at 10:13 PM

Former HotAir contributor J.E.Dyer also has an excellent posting up over at Liberty Unyielding for those interested in a more thorough examination of ISIS and their plans for Iraq.

http://libertyunyielding.com/2014/06/16/isis-iraq-pause-assault-baghdad/

can_con on June 16, 2014 at 10:08 PM

That’s the best writeup that I’ve seen about the situation.

It seems like we used to have teams of investigative journalists in the country.

faraway on June 16, 2014 at 10:20 PM

Thank God and common sense that my family and I are all out.
V7_Sport on June 16, 2014 at 8:29 PM

I regret posting that/apologize to anyone who may have felt sold out. Country first, even if it’s being run by a complete POS. Probably then most of all.
I can’t express how disgusted I am with this administration and every last thing that enabled this catastrophe to come to pass. The damage that this fool has inflicted on this country, be it through ruinous debt or p!s$ing on the sacrifices of what are the best we have left is heartbreaking to (all but helplessly) watch.

V7_Sport on June 16, 2014 at 10:20 PM

Former HotAir contributor J.E.Dyer also has an excellent posting up over at Liberty Unyielding for those interested in a more thorough examination of ISIS and their plans for Iraq.

http://libertyunyielding.com/2014/06/16/isis-iraq-pause-assault-baghdad/

can_con on June 16, 2014 at 10:08 PM

And here’s the excellent follow-up article by Dyer:

“Team Obama: ‘It’s too politically sensitive’ to evacuate the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.”

Even more in-depth on the already commencing Siege of Baghdad.

de rigueur on June 16, 2014 at 10:27 PM

faraway on June 16, 2014 at 10:20 PM

the MSM = criminally liable…

they know crimes are being committed.. and refuse to report it..

say three ppl are in a house…two of them planning to rob the bank on the corner…
shoot up the place…kill some cops…steal the cash.. in two days..
the third person wants nothing to do with it at all…leaves and goes home…

two days later his friends rob the bank and shoot ppl as planned..
the third man is criminally liable for not reporting it..
like our press he knew a crime was about to happen. and did nothing

going2mars on June 16, 2014 at 10:27 PM

kingsjester @kingsjester1
I have an idea: Let’s send these Mexican Gang Bangers Obana is importing to Iraq to guard the Embassy. #tcot #MexicanMunchkinMigration

kingsjester on June 16, 2014 at 10:36 PM

“Team Obama: ‘It’s too politically sensitive’ to evacuate the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.”

Even more in-depth on the already commencing Siege of Baghdad.

de rigueur on June 16, 2014 at 10:27 PM

Send your kids over then, Dog Eater, really send a message that the place is safe. They can paddle in the pool and play tag on the grounds, safe as bugs in a rug.

Bishop on June 16, 2014 at 10:40 PM

http://libertyunyielding.com/2014/06/16/isis-iraq-pause-assault-baghdad/

can_con on June 16, 2014 at 10:08 PM

Thanks for that. Good stuff.

John the Libertarian on June 16, 2014 at 10:41 PM

What happens if this group of 275 Americans are attacked by ISIS, while they are over there? Will our dhimmi President allow “the mission to change”? Or, will he make them bow and apologize?

kingsjester on June 16, 2014 at 10:49 PM

Even more in-depth on the already commencing Siege of Baghdad.

de rigueur on June 16, 2014 at 10:27 PM

Thanks for that. Good stuff.

John the Libertarian on June 16, 2014 at 10:41 PM

That’s the best writeup that I’ve seen about the situation.

It seems like we used to have teams of investigative journalists in the country.

faraway on June 16, 2014 at 10:20 PM

Glad I could point over to her stuff. The whole site is a great addition to Hot Air for daily reading.

can_con on June 16, 2014 at 10:51 PM

Inept security adviser #1: “Mr. Prez…., how many of those special force dudes should we send, or how many would make you feel comfortable. Ya’ know, comfortable meaning that it looks like we’re doin’ something”.

The Zero: “Err…about 275………hand me my 3 wood”.

Inept Security adviser #1: “Here ya’ go. 275 yards or 275 dudes, Ha! What difference does it make amirite bro…!?!”

The Zero: “FORE”!

StubbornGreenBurros on June 16, 2014 at 11:08 PM

Can we stop this ride now? I want to get off. I feel sick.

Zoomie on June 16, 2014 at 11:37 PM

And here’s the excellent follow-up article by Dyer:

“Team Obama: ‘It’s too politically sensitive’ to evacuate the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.”

Even more in-depth on the already commencing Siege of Baghdad.

de rigueur on June 16, 2014 at 10:27 PM

This was Obama two weeks ago:

Obama argued that America “has always had a pretty sacred rule and that is we don’t leave our men or women in uniform behind.”

Every Obama promise has an expiration date.

AesopFan on June 16, 2014 at 11:40 PM

It’s all Bush’s fault, don’t you know.

Sherman1864 on June 17, 2014 at 2:14 AM

How reminiscent of that liberal icon JFK who sent “only a few advisors” into a remote place called Vietnam….

Don L on June 17, 2014 at 4:12 AM

The public split between Graham and McCain on Iranian involvement underlines the real problem here: the situation has been allowed to deteriorate by neglect for years, and at this stage there are no easy solutions and probably no good solutions.

That’s why it’s even more important to have strong leaders even in relatively peaceful times. The public swiftly falls into complacency, it takes a leader to point out the value of prevention.

Obama is no leader. He’s never done anything well except campaign and raise money. He plays video games and watches TV until it is time to play golf, give a speech attacking his enemies, attend a fundraiser, or put on a lavish party at the White House for his friends.

These are times which demand leaders made of better stuff than fluff.

Adjoran on June 17, 2014 at 4:19 AM

Former HotAir contributor J.E.Dyer also has an excellent posting up over at Liberty Unyielding for those interested in a more thorough examination of ISIS and their plans for Iraq.

http://libertyunyielding.com/2014/06/16/isis-iraq-pause-assault-baghdad/

Lots of useful tactical information in there for patriots.

Moron Labe on June 17, 2014 at 6:02 AM

Gross. Can anyone tell me why the media is putting people on TV who were wrong about Iraq in 2003 and asking their opinion on what we should do now? Oh yeah, because the media actually loves warmaking and makes money of Americans heightened interest. So once again here they are beating the drumbeat for war. I could vomit.

libfreeordie on June 17, 2014 at 6:32 AM

How many advisors did Kennedy send to Vietnam? Quagmaire! Quagmire!

Surellin on June 17, 2014 at 7:27 AM

To bad we are stopping production on the Tomahawks.

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2014/04/tomahawk-cancellation-an-error-of-defense-strategy-and-alliance-policy

warren on June 16, 2014 at 6:27 PM

Me thinks Heritage needs to change their headline. Tomahawks are offensive missiles, not defensive.

DethMetalCookieMonst on June 17, 2014 at 8:01 AM

Advisors, wasn’t that how Viet Nam got started.

Kissmygrits on June 17, 2014 at 8:25 AM

Great Job there Mr. President way to go an blow seven years of hard fought gains. Way to act like the far left librial coward that you are. Way to hid behind our military and tell us what a great job we have done and then disrecept everyone who gave there lives all in one swift stoke. I am sure everything that has happened is such a great shock because no one told you this would happen, oh wait they did tell you that.
Mr. President go find the nearest mirror and repet the following phrase “Its all my fault.” It is all your fault this was your own self agrandizing move to satisfiy nothing more than ego. Now more good warriors are on there way BACK to Iraq after we already won this dam war. More good men and women will die stopping the terrorists and thats your fault too. I hope your happy with your joke of a foreigne policy Mr President. I can stomach a fight Mr President, I just cant stomach you being a coward anymore.

falcaner on June 17, 2014 at 8:35 AM

Now more good warriors are on there way BACK to Iraq after we already won this dam war.

Wow. Well, I guess that answers if the military screens for moron. But, hey, I say let all the neocons who believe that occupation magically produces democracy and love for the West do just that. Please go back to Iraq and “serve” or whatever, and see if it’ll work this time! You know 18th time a charm and all that.

libfreeordie on June 17, 2014 at 8:44 AM

If one neocon could just point to a single instance since Korea where where military invasion and occupation occupation has magically produced a West-friendly government where there was not one before. Until you can do that, kindly shut it about “Obama” failing. It’s intellectually dishonest, of course you know that…

libfreeordie on June 17, 2014 at 8:48 AM

Wow. Well, I guess that answers if the military screens for moron. But, hey, I say let all the neocons who believe that occupation magically produces democracy and love for the West do just that. Please go back to Iraq and “serve” or whatever, and see if it’ll work this time! You know 18th time a charm and all that.

libfreeordie on June 17, 2014 at 8:44 AM

Are you saying that Iraq was not stable and being governed by a nationally elected official when obama took office? That’s the way things were when I left.

Your president allowed ISIS to grow in power amid warnings from Iraq and Syria. People were telling this president the rebels he supported in Syria were being coopted by Iraqi Insurgents who were gaining power and equipment. They shelled BIAP and Tal Afar with T72s they captured from the Syrian Arab Army.

You’re pathetic and your tune would be different if George Bush had allowed this to progress. You don’t have an intellectually honest bone in your body.

hawkdriver on June 17, 2014 at 8:50 AM

libfree, you’re a coward towering above lessor cowards. You make comments and refuse to defend them.

Must be pretty cut and dry, no?

hawkdriver on June 17, 2014 at 9:04 AM

Libfree can YOU name one instance since Korea that the invading force has stuck around and insured the peace and sovereignty of a nation? Can you honestly say that if we would have kept bases in Iraq that this would still be happening? Nevermind, I know you cannot be honest.

geramy2012 on June 17, 2014 at 9:06 AM

libfreeordie on June 17, 2014 at 8:44 AM

Wow you the actual moron here. As HawkDriver points out we won the war in Iraq but needed to spend more time training the Iraqis to take care of themselves, but your dipshit messiah, King Putt, Master of infinite nothingness, abandoned the Iraqis. He refused to leave the 20,000 troops there Maliki desired and never got or signed the SOFA agreement.

Then he brought all of our soldiers home leaving Iraq weak and unable to defend herself, despite having been told by many people that if we left AQ would go in and take over. Zero refused to listen, AND LEFT THE IRAQIS TO DIE, BETRAYED by an INDIFFERENT LOW LIFE TRAITOR.

King Putt.

dogsoldier on June 17, 2014 at 9:12 AM

Misleading Headline — Obama is sending in Special Ops personnel to protect the nearly 5,000 American Embassy personnel in Iraq. He is doing nothing to slow down ISIS who is moving towards Baghdad on 3 fronts. He has no intention of stopping the fall of Iraq – in fact I think he WANTS Iraq to fall to these terrorists, in part to blame Bush for ever going in in the 1st place. (Forget the fact that we liberated Iraq, that the war was ‘won’. Leave it to Obama to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by abandoning those who were still striving to establish Liberty.) Fortunately Obama can’t allow 5,000 Americans to die at the hands of terrorists the way he allowed 4 to do so in Benghazi — our embassy workers in Baghdad will be pulled out, much like the withdrawl of Americans at the end of the Viet Nam war. Americans will be clibing on helicopters as the terrorists storm the compound.

Meanwhile approx 500 US Contractors are still surrounded and stuck at Balad Air Base, north of Baghdad (between Baghdad and Mosul).

easyt65 on June 17, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Meanwhile approx 500 US Contractors are still surrounded and stuck at Balad Air Base, north of Baghdad (between Baghdad and Mosul).

easyt65 on June 17, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Last week, we delivered at least one F16 there for the Iraqis.

Now Al Qaeda has F16s.

faraway on June 17, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Even if this is correct he is sending specialized troops in an amount about the size of two rifle companies . . . hardly a significant war fighting capability. Look for more drones, more cruise missiles and more camels being shot in the butt.

rplat on June 17, 2014 at 9:45 AM

Boots on the ground: Obama sending “small number” of Special Forces troops to assist Iraq; Update: 275 personnel

I still think a mercenary force would be better. And the oil companies, Haliburton, et al can hire them.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 17, 2014 at 10:08 AM

So……the war ain’t over?

BobMbx on June 17, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Last week, we delivered at least one F16 there for the Iraqis.

Now Al Qaeda has F16s.

faraway on June 17, 2014 at 9:44 AM

But it only flies with E100 fuel. And there ain’t no corn in the Middle East.

BobMbx on June 17, 2014 at 10:53 AM

Please go back to Iraq and “serve” or whatever, and see if it’ll work this time! You know 18th time a charm and all that.

libfreeordie on June 17, 2014 at 8:44 AM

Ahh the wonderful intellectual honesty of the left on foreign policy. Libfreeordie first of all we did win in Iraq, in 2011 the country was stable terrorist free and had a more or less democratic government. It would of taken very little effort on our part to keep it that way. Instead of getting a SOFA like we should of we allowed ourselves to get out maneuvered by the Iranians because they convinced Maliki that he should throw his lot in with them and not the US(how is that working out for him). ISIS is an existential threat to the security of the United States, these guys are brutal, well trained, well-funded and have Europeans and AMAERICANS in their ranks. They have come out and said that they want to conduct attacks against the US. 2003 invasion was a mistake, the intelligence got it wrong and we screwed up we are all in agreement on that now. However the far left thinks that if we just act less like America that all of our problems will go away; it’s the foreign policy of unicorns and rainbows. We are going to HAVE to send men and women back to Iraq to stop this massacre from happening before it gets to our doorstep. I have no problem serving in hell holes like Iraq I would just appreciate it if your didn’t look down your nose at me while I did it.

falcaner on June 17, 2014 at 10:58 AM

Viet Nam Deja vu.

rjh on June 17, 2014 at 11:07 AM

But I think we should allow the North Pole to become an Islamic State then when its Ramadan time they can’t eat during daylight of the nearest Islamic state, and the North Pole has 6 months of daylight …..

steviecooper on June 17, 2014 at 11:20 AM

King Putt, The Precedent is going to TRY to play out the clock.
And he will fail … but that was his plan ALL ALONG.
It is all the fault of BUSHHALIBURTONCHENEY. Right Libfreeandshiite?

The great news is that Dear Liar has invited John ‘Last in his Class’ McCain over to the White House for a little Equine-Canine Extravaganza and NOW John see’s the light. And he is now on board and every thing will be peaches and cream in Iraq.

We (not related to the Presstitutes) TRIED TO WARN EVERYONE.
President Downgrade 2X, has no experience in doing ANYTHING.
He was and IS … A COMPLETE AND UTTER FRAUD!
But free government cheese and cellphones won the day and it will take DECADES to fix HIS C-student administrations phuckups.

Stupid Americans.

Missilengr on June 17, 2014 at 12:41 PM

rjh on June 17, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Viet Nam was never ‘won’. South Viet Nam was never truly Liberated before it was ABANDONED and ALLOWED to be overtaken by the North.

Iraq was liberated. A new government was in-place. The US transitioned to a supporting role, advising, helping train troops, and aiding Iraqi troops while its new government grew and developed. MEANWHILE Obama was undrmining the SOFA agreement effort…was running weapons to the Islamic Extremists in Syria -the same extremists who partly make up ISIS, the terrorists that are threatening to destroy Iraq and everything for which our troops sacrificed. Obama din’t just arm Syrian terrorists in ‘an attemot to overthrow Assad’, he armed the very rebels who are using those weapons to take down Iraq – he betrayed the new Iraqi…government and our very own troops.

Despite Bush declaring we would never allow terrorists to have a Safe Haven anywhere in the world…OBAMA helped put terrorists in control of the government of our Ally (Egypt)….OBAMA forced our military to aid the perpetrators of 9/11/01 take over their own nation…OBAMA hired an Al Qaeda-associated militia to protect our Ambassador in Benghazi…OBAMA was running weapons out of Benghazi to Islamic Extremists in Syria – the SAME Islamic Extremists who partly make up ISIS. The new government of Iraq that WE helped establish, through the sacrifices made by our military, is being destroyed by the weapons OBAMA was giving these ISIS terrorists!

easyt65 on June 17, 2014 at 1:00 PM

QUESTION:

The news is reporting this ISIS group may now have ‘stinger’ missiles – very accurate, very ‘nasty’ missiles, that were left in Iraq when Obama ordered out our troops. Ask yourself…

WHY WOULD OUR MILITARY BE ORDERED TO LEAVE THESE MISSILES BEHIND? WHY WOULD THE CIA LEAVE THESE WEAPONS BEHIND?

Nice…Obama just gave THE most violent, nastiest, brutal terrorist organization in the world one of the most preficient highly mobile surface-to-air threats in the world!

Add another mark under the ‘World Terrorist’ ‘win Column’ during the Obama administration. The deaths of those who will die by these missiles is also on Obama’s hands, as they never should have been able to get their hands on these weapons!

easyt65 on June 17, 2014 at 1:07 PM

What the 5000 people on board the air craft carrier don’t count? Wait until the first fly by and we find out what happened to all those stinger missiles from Libya that we gave to the Syrian rebels went. We will be putting another 10-20 boots on the ground daily before the end of July.

jpcpt03 on June 17, 2014 at 4:32 PM

275
the number of new hostages ISIS will take.

I’m hoping that the 275 don’t do anything more than get the over 6000 in the green zone out now & leave that area to Iran – the lesser of the crazies.

Its like Hanoi all over again.

athenadelphi on June 17, 2014 at 7:13 PM

Libfree you talking about honesty…heh heh heh. Too much.

CW on June 17, 2014 at 8:51 PM

Numbers of personnel being re-deployed will increase as more scandals involving the Obama Administration.

MSGTAS on June 18, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Winking, Blinking, and Nod actions of President Obama will increase the numbers of troops on the ground in Iraq will increase as it did before.

MSGTAS on June 19, 2014 at 10:14 AM

A dangerous situation, getting worse, while the president fiddles with global-warming foolishness. Joe Biden is looking better by the minute.

virgo on June 19, 2014 at 10:41 AM

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