Even as the U.S. military takes on a greater role in the warfare in Iraq and Syria, the Trump administration has stopped disclosing significant information about the size and nature of the U.S. commitment, including the number of U.S. troops deployed in either country.
Earlier this month, the Pentagon quietly dispatched 400 Marines to northern Syria to operate artillery in support of Syrian militias that are cooperating in the fight against Islamic State, according to U.S. officials. That was the first use of U.S. Marines in that country since its long civil war began. In Iraq, nearly 300 Army paratroopers were deployed recently to help the Iraqi military in their six-month assault on the city of Mosul, according to U.S. officials.
Neither of those deployments was announced once they had been made, a departure from the practice of the Obama administration, which announced nearly all conventional force deployments. The decision appears to be making good on Trump’s promise as a candidate to insist on more of an “element of surprise” in battle tactics.
Naturally, this is presented as a Bad Thing. Because how do you expect the Arabs to be able to fight the American military on an even footing if they don’t know where we’re going to be or when we’re going to strike?
That move deprives the public of information it has a right to know about the wars in which the U.S. is engaging, said Ned Price, National Security Council spokesman under Obama.
“The position of the Obama administration was that the American people had a right to know if servicemen and women were in harm’s way,” he said. “It’s truly shocking that the current administration furtively deploys troops without public debate or describing their larger strategy.”
If you ever thought the Obama administration was about winning wars against America’s enemies, now you know better.
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