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by
Bridget Johnson

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June 30, 2014 - 4:04 pm

Since President Obama announced on June 19 that he would be sending 300 military advisers to Iraq, the number of U.S. personnel deployed has incrementally crept up.

Today, Obama notified House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate President Pro Tempore Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) as required by the War Powers Resolution that he ordered “approximately 200 additional U.S. Armed Forces personnel to Iraq to reinforce security at the U.S. Embassy, its support facilities, and the Baghdad International Airport.”

“This force consists of additional security forces, rotary-wing aircraft, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance support,” he said. “This force is deploying for the purpose of protecting U.S. citizens and property, if necessary, and is equipped for combat. This force will remain in Iraq until the security situation becomes such that it is no longer needed.”

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement that the additional personnel arrived in Iraq on Sunday and today “from locations within the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.”

“Capabilities provided include a detachment of helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles, which will bolster airfield and travel route security. Similar to the U.S. security personnel who arrived in Baghdad earlier this month to provide support and security for U.S. personnel and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, they will integrate with existing U.S. embassy security teams,” Kirby said.

“The presence of these additional forces will help enable the embassy to continue its critical diplomatic mission and work with Iraq on challenges they are facing as they confront Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).”

In addition to this, Kirby continued, “the approximately 100 personnel already prepositioned in the Central Command region — previously announced by the Defense Department in mid-June — will also move forward to Baghdad to provide security and logistics support.”

“These forces are separate and apart from the up to 300 personnel the president authorized to establish two joint operations centers and conduct an assessment of how the U.S. can provide additional support to Iraq’s security forces as they confront the grave threat posed by ISIL,” he said.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest was asked at today’s briefing whether Obama was “hopeful” that U.S. allies would contribute to security forces in Iraq.

“I would assume — and I think with a lot of confidence — that the leaders of these other countries will be making a similar calculation to the one that the president has made, which is that our interest in that country — or our activity in that country will be governed by what the president assesses to be in the best interest of American national security,” Earnest said.

“That will continue to be the criteria that the president will use as he makes decisions about U.S. actions there, and I assume that other countries and other country’s leaders will be making a similar calculation.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
All Comments   (12)
All Comments   (12)
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online jobs ? part time and full time
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11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
so where are the cindy sheehans and all the other libs that hated Bush for the war.

OOPS forgot, they enjoy war when dems get them into them, but hate those that have to clean up the dem's mess.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Fortunately, ISIS isn't aware of our July 4th holiday. Otherwise they may try to stage an attack on the Green Zone with those SCUDS. Or play "capture the flag" with one of our facilities.

They don't need to HOLD it, mind you. Just run a up flag, let CNN or Al Jazeera take the pictures, and boogie.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
it is over 300 nautical miles, straight line, from baghdad to the gulf. ever heard of a helo with a 600 mile range ? the only in flight refueling helos i know are sea stallions and pave hawks. i guess if people got parked in the desert somewhere a couple of specteres could be put on station overheard for a week as they hopscotch them to a carrier. heck maybe kuwait or the sauds might help.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, I wouldn't call this a US ally exactly...

...but I hear Putin is pouring in air power to help the Iraqi government.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here we go VIETNAM all over again.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Great, now we have 500 sacrificial victims on the ground there. And those helicopters we are sending, they are sitting ducks for the Stingers that b.'insane' nobama and mistress Shrillary GAVE to ISIS in Benghazi! How they gonna spin it when those copters start falling out of the sky from manpads we gave to them? Are people actually aware why our troops were ordered to quit flying close air support missions in Afcrapistan after Benghazi?
If you want to read some very interesting material, go to The Conservative Treehouse and read the series by Sundance. He does a very good job of connecting dots!
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
At this point, who on the Republican side will want to even run for President? There is going to be such a foreign policy mess left behind (a mess the media will immediately tag onto him/her).
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
I say we ship all the illegal kids to Iraq.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Prediction:
We're going to see another Saigon capitulation/evacuation, and....in combination with a possible Benghazi situation. The difference with Benghazi so far is that now we .....seem .......to have helicopters available actually very nearby in the guise of U.S. Army "advisors" and such.

It's a tragic shame that honorable career State Department personnel so very vulnerable in these nasty Embassy situations in these Muslim trouble spots should be subject to the colossal ineptitude and crassness of this current amateur "administration".

12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The difference with Benghazi so far is that now we .....seem .......to have helicopters available actually very nearby in the guise of U.S. Army "advisors" and such."

I don't disagree with your prediction, but the idea that help is now closer to the US embassy in Benghazi is mistaken. Baghdad is over 1400 miles away, as the crow flies. That's a very long flight for helicopters, or AC-130's.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think you completely misunderstood what he said.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
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