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Obama Sending 300 ‘Military Advisers’ to Iraq, ‘Significantly’ Increases Intel Efforts

Armed Services chairman: "I want to urge the president -- for once -- to make up his mind and commit to a comprehensive course of action."

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

June 19, 2014 - 2:13 pm
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WASHINGTON — After huddling with his national security team, President Obama announced Thursday afternoon that up to 300 “military advisers” would be headed to Iraq to help the government fight off the advances made by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the successor to al-Qaeda in Iraq.

“ISIL poses a threat to the Iraqi people, to the region, and to U.S. interests,” said Obama, who added that his team had arrived at a number of steps to assist the Iraqis.

“First, we are working to secure our embassy and personnel operating inside of Iraq. As president, I have no greater priority than the safety of our men and women serving overseas, so I have taken some steps to relocate some of our embassy personnel, and we have sent reinforcements to better secure our facilities,” he said.

“Second, at my direction, we have significantly increased our intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets, so we’ve got a better picture of what’s taking place inside of Iraq, and this will give us a greater understanding of what ISIL is doing, where it’s located, and how we might support efforts to counter this threat.”

The U.S. will also create “joint operation centers in Baghdad and northern Iraq to share intelligence and coordinate planning to confront the terrorist threat of ISIL.”

The military advisers will “assess how we can best train, advise, and support Iraqi security forces going forward.”

“American forces will not be returning to combat in Iraq, but we will help Iraqis as they take the fight to terrorists who threaten the Iraqi people in the region and American interests as well,” said the president.

“Fourth, in recent days, we’ve positioned additional U.S. military assets in the region. Because of our increased intelligence resources, we’re developing more information about potential targets associated with ISIL and going forward, we will be prepared to take targeted and precise military action if and when we determine that the situation on the ground requires it.”

If military action becomes necessary, Obama continued, “I will consult closely with Congress and leaders in Iraq and in the region. I want to emphasize though that the best and most effective response to a threat like ISIL will ultimately involve partnerships where local forces like Iraqis take the lead.”

He also promised a stronger diplomatic effort and will send Secretary of State John Kerry to the Middle East and Europe this weekend “to consult with our allies and partners.”

“Above all, Iraqi leaders must rise above their differences and come together around a political plan for Iraq’s future. Shia, Sunni, Kurds, all Iraqis must have confidence that they can advance their interests and aspirations through the political process rather than through violence,” Obama said. “National unity meetings have to go forward to build consensus across Iraq’s different communities.”

“…The United States will not pursue military options to support one sect inside of Iraq at the expense of another.”

Under questioning from members of the press, Obama acknowledged that he needs to “guard against mission creep.”

“American combat troops are not going to be fighting in Iraq again. We do not have the ability to simply solve this problem by sending in tens of thousands of troops and committing the kinds of blood and treasure that has already been expended in Iraq. Ultimately, this is something that is going to have to be solved by the Iraqis.”

If ISIL can “accumulate more money, they accumulate more ammunition, more military capability, larger numbers, that poses great dangers not just to allies of ours like Jordan, which is very close by, it also poses, you know, great danger potentially to Europe and ultimately the United States.”

When asked if he regretted not leaving a residual force in Iraq, the president who frequently takes credit for a full withdrawal from Iraq, responded, “Well, keep in mind, that wasn’t a decision made by me. That was a decision made by the Iraqi government.”

He also asserted that his administration didn’t misread the danger posed by the ISIL in Syria.

“You know, that assessment about the dangers of what was happening in Syria have existed since we — since the very beginning of the Syrian civil war,” Obama said. “The question has never been whether we thought this was a serious problem. The question has always been is there the capacity of moderate opposition on the ground to absorb and counteract extremists that might have been pouring as well as an Assad regime supported by Iran and Russia that outmanned and was ruthless?”

“…Often times, the challenge is if you have former farmers or teachers or pharmacists who now are taking up opposition against a battle-hardened regime with support from external actors that have a lot at stake, how quickly can you get them trained, how effective are you able to mobilize them, and you know, that continues to be a challenge.”

Obama said that rather than trying “to play ‘Whac-a-Mole’ wherever these terrorist organizations may pop up, what we have to do is to be able to build effective partnerships, make sure that they have capacity.”

Top Rated Comments   
What should America do in Iraq now?

Unfortunately, the die was cast for the destruction of the nation-state of Iraq the moment G.W. Bush authorized the invasion and long-term occupation. Why? Because by toppling Saddam Hussein, we removed the chief regional counterweight to Tehran - and thereby the single biggest obstacle to Iranian hegemony in the region. Although Hussein was a Baathist Sunni, his nation was/is majority Shi'ite. Brutal though it was, Hussein's regime is what kept the lid on sectarian tensions and violence between these two factions. The Kurds in the north were the wild card - and wanted an independent nation of their own.

Now, with Hussein gone and the Shi'ites controlling the government, Iraq is effectively a client state of Iran.

The instability of Iraq dates back to the post-WWI talks held in Paris, 1919, when the "big three" of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, British Prime Minister Lloyd George and French Premier Georges Clemenceau carved up the Middle East with a few old maps, a ruler and only their imaginations with which to work. None of these men or their senior advisors knew much about the region, but that didn't stop them from parceling it up. Amongst the new "nations" created (then part of the British mandatory region) was what we now know as modern Iraq - which has never been more than a "Frankenstein's monster" cobbled together out of tribes, ethnicities and groups which had no business living together, but were compelled to do so by lines drawn on a map by powerful men a continent away.

Only a succession of strong-armed colonial rulers - in this case, the British - and then a series of dictators and autocrats (culminating in Saddam Hussein), held Iraq together. Now that Hussein is gone, Iraq is violently-fracturing into its constituent parts. Sectarian warfare between the Sunnis and the Shi'ites - the longest running show in the Middle East (1,300 years and still playing!) - is now a reality in Iraq.

Informed observers and analysts have always known that the true endgame in Iraq would not begin to unfold until after American/coalition forces had departed in significant numbers. That is precisely what is happening now.

Sectarian warfare seems a foregone conclusion in Iraq now. The best- and most-sensible strategic option for the U.S. is to assure the safety of its citizens and then get the heck out of Dodge. We will also do our best to protect the shipping lanes in the Straits of Hormuz and other corporate/commercial concerns on an as-needed basis. If the Sunnis and Shi'ites want to slaughter one another, the very last thing we as a nation should do is to intervene. It isn't our business. Indeed, getting between those two age-old foes is one of the surest and best ways of uniting them against the hated infidels, meaning us.

After the last decade of perpetual warfare in the Middle East, there is no morally coherent or defensible reason for re-deploying U.S. forces en mass, air or ground, to Iraq at the present time. Who knows?...If the Sunnis and Shi'ites go at it long-enough, they may solve many of our most-pressing foreign policy problems by the simple expedient of attrition. Hope springs eternal...

If the neo-cons and their war-mongering pals are so anxious to fight another war there, they and their families, friends and colleagues should be the first to grab a rifle and strap it on. The American people have had it with these morally-bankrupt losers asking us to fight their wars for them.

6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Whatever one thinks of the decision to enter Iraq or whether – in retrospect – it was too much price for too little reward, it was politically popular at the time (and no, Bush did not lie us into war).

After some significant missteps, Iraq was stable and secure but fragile when Bush left office…the statistics for casualties and terrorist activity are available to review and completely support the notion of an Iraq, pacified.

The SOFA allowed for several tens of thousands of “non-combat” units to remain in-country as a stabilizing force (up to 70k). Just as we have with many other countries…

The Iraq War was won.

The Maliki government objected to some terms of the SOFA that were politically unpopular in Iraq, but a fig leaf could easily have been found to save face just as fig leaves have been found for the many, many SOFA’s we have with other countries worldwide.

Obama made no attempt to negotiate as he wanted to fulfill his campaign promise and remove all troops from Iraq. Many, many people made the case that leaving no residual force would lead to chaos. Obama ignored them.

Now thousands of innocents will die because this stupid man-child is too arrogant to understand the world outside his reflection…and we should all be ashamed.
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6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
A young Democrat Senator who becomes president on a platform of optimism, sending military advisers to a country halfway around the world that's in the midst of a civil war with a side threatening to impose a repressive ideology despite America being war weary after two long, costly wars? Nope, nothing bad can come out of that.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (33)
All Comments   (33)
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I have heard that smoking too much dope does actually affect your ability to make commited decisions. I can say first hand that it may be true.

But this isnt about me. I dont carry much weight. He does.
He did vote present an awful lot.
He cant get his head around the constitution as being a solid document.
He doesnt know much about borders and lines.

Though he did say with no irony that he would like his health care plan to be free from congressional handprints. And he would prefer birdies to pars. So I think the same damage delivers one from double standards quite freely too.

It tends to make one confused.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
No American should be placed in harm's way by a so called Cinc who hates them, their country, and the Constitution they swore to defend, not one.

Saddam was our watch dog on Iran, but when your dog bites a friendly neighbor you have to put him down. Bush 41 failed to finish the job, Bush 43 compromised too much with (his fellow) liberals.

We needed to make an example of an islamic country after 9/11 and Iraq made the most sense. We should have closely guarded the oil infrastructure, enforced a 75 mile deep "free fire zone" along the Iranian border and let the muslimes in the cities kill each other.

Under NO circumstances were they ready for "democracy" or to rule themselves.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wilsonianism is dead. Thankfully. Kant can't work in the Islamic world. Never try to bring heaven to earth. Just limit the he11.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
RIP the American FINANCIAL EMPIRE born out of selling to BOTH sides during WW1 and WW2 and died 2008 with the election of the incompetent, inept BLACK USURPER King Barry HUSSEIN SOETERO OBOZO the 1st in 2008.
One of the SHORTEST surviving EMPIRES in recorded history.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Good thing those advisers will be operating under the protections of the US-Iraq SOFA.

Oh, wait...
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh PLEEEZ...won't someone send him a "Whac-A-Mole"?
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Barack Kardashian is sickeningly blatant in his making our country, military irrelevant it's beyond repulsive.

His 'actions' or really inaction for that matter is so enemy of the state-like it's beyond reproach.

He and his minions revel in their stupidity, bound to fail 'policy'.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
It gives me no pleasure to watch a once great Nation like the USA fall apart in weakness, disarray, confusion and contradiction. But that is exactly what is happening under the leadership of America's incompetent, inept and lets face it dogmatically STUPID first BLACK President.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Anyone who still thinks he's stupid, is stupid.

It's called treason.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is a whole world of difference between DOGMA driven STUPIDITY and intellectual STUPIDITY which you seem to be intellectually incapable of grasping.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
The inept, incompetent, indecisive White House WIMP King Barry HUSSEIN Soetero Soerbarkah the 1 st says 'There is no Military solution" then completely CONTRADICTS himself by saying 'I am sending 300 MILITARY ADVISERS (worrying echoes of VIETNAM) " so why send Military advisers if there is NO MILITARY SOLUTION. He then says 'I will not support one Muslim Sect against another" so we must presume 150 of these MILITARY ADVISERS are going to ISIS and 150 to the Iraq REGIME of Al Maliki or else that statement means NOTHING.
The Lame Stream EneMedia meanwhile has not a single question regarding these blatant and lets face it STUPID Contradictions not even a VIETNAM comparison from the USURPER. Imagine if you can what they would be doing and saying if this was BUSH.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
ISIS puts out photo of members chillin’ with John McCain In Syria [http://www.fireandreamitchell.com/2014/06/19/isis-puts-out-photo-of-members-chillin-with-john-mccain-in-syria/]

This 2013 photograph of John McCain is being circulated by members of ISIS as a photo of him with some of their members in Syria.

And many Egyptians still wants to put McCain (and Obama and Hillary) on trial for crimes against humanity for supporting the terrorist organization called the Muslim Brotherhood.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
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