More U.S. Marines are already being deployed to help in the fight against ISIS in Iraq, but Gen. Joseph Dunford said that President Obama could deploy more forces in the near future. Gen. Dunford, who serves as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said more forces would allow the Iraqi government forces to have more latitude in their operations against the terrorist organization (via Reuters):
President Barack Obama will have the chance to decide on whether to increase the number of U.S. forces in Iraq in the "coming weeks," the top U.S. general said on Wednesday.
The extra troops would bolster the capabilities of Iraqi forces preparing for a major offensive against the Islamic State militant group in Mosul, U.S. Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a news briefing.
U.S. and Iraqi military officials have been discussing a plan to retake Mosul, which fell to Islamic State in June 2014, and how U.S. forces could support their efforts, Dunford said.
"Those recommendations are being made and the president will have an opportunity to make some decisions here in the coming weeks," Dunford said. "I brought it to the secretary (Defense Secretary Ash Carter). The secretary will engage with the president."
Yet, we should be skeptical about this announcement. For starters, the Obama White House has prided itself in deescalating and ending American combat operations in Iraq. Second, President Obama was doing the wave with Raul Castro during a baseball game while visiting Cuba, as Brussels, Belgium reeled from a devastating terrorist attack in which four Americans are among the 30+ dead. He later did the tango in Argentina. So, there’s reason to believe that any more forces being deployed to the region won’t happen. Obama’s checked out and is willing to hand this hot plate over to the next president. He still could surprise us all, but don’t count on it.