Obama To Send More Troops To Iraq
The Pentagon announced Monday that 200 more U.S. troops are being sent to Iraq to join in the fight against the so-called Islamic State.
Along with the troops, the Department of Defense is sending High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems and Apache helicopters for air support.
Teams of about a dozen soldiers will embed with Iraqi forces. Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said in press conferences that troops in the area “are not new,” as the maxium troop level was to just over 4000.
“There have been risks to U.S. personnel all along,” he said.
The Hill reports:
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) said he welcomed the deployment of additional troops, but called it “grudging incrementalism.”
“This is yet another example of the kind of grudging incrementalism that rarely wins wars, but could certainly lose one,” he said.
Earlier this month, he warned in a letter to Carter that the intensifying U.S. involvement in the fight against ISIS reminded him of the “slow, grinding failure” he witnessed in Vietnam.
McCain has criticized the administration for putting too many constraints on the U.S. air campaign against ISIS, as well its reluctance to commit more U.S. troops to the fight.
“This deployment is also representative of the increasing operational demands imposed upon our military that are not funded in the President’s already inadequate defense budget request,” he added. “Continuing to ask our military to do more with less is irresponsible and is placing the lives of our service members at increased risk.”
The Pentagon also announced Monday that the U.S. will spend $415 million on a financial package for Kurdish peshmerga units that will help pay for stipends and other needs in light of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s budget crisis.
Davis emphasized that the support will be distributed “by, with and through the government of Baghdad.”