Obama Sends 1500 Advisers to Iraq – Fox News Freaks Out

President Obama has announced that he is sending 1,500 troops to Iraq to bolster the international efforts against ISIL. These troops will be used to “train, advise and assist” Iraqi and Kurdish forces, and will bring the total of US forces there to 2,900.

Naturally, Fox News seized on the “assist” portion of their mission:

“The president has repeatedly said the United States will not put American troops in combat roles overseas. He has said it over and over and over: no boots on the ground.”

“So what’s happening now?” concludes Fox News. “Boots on the ground.”

Naturally, Fox News is assumeing “assist” means “combat,” but Fox News has never been reluctant to invent things for President Obama to say (or to ignore things he does say).

Senior administration officials speaking to reporters on background in a conference call yesterday, on the other hand, eschewed inventing news and stuck to the facts, one of which is that “this is not a combat mission.”

A senior administration official told reporters that the administration “will be requesting $5.6 billion for additional overseas contingency operations related to our efforts to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL…that includes, importantly, a $1.6 billion request to establish an Iraq train-and-equip fund, which is a part of our focus on strengthening Iraqi security forces.”

That relates to the decision that the President has made to authorize a deployment of up to 1,500 additional U.S. military personnel to Iraq to participate in that train, advise-and-assist capacity. Clearly, our strategy against ISIL, together with our coalition, has focused on degrading ISIL through our air campaign but also importantly strengthening partners on the ground who can take the fight to ISIL. And what we’ve seen over the last couple of months is action by the Peshmerga and the Kurdish forces in the north to go on offense and increasingly Iraqi security forces becoming organized and beginning to push back against ISIL around Baghdad and in places like Anbar Province.

And Fox News’ boots on the ground? Well, again, since when does Fox News ever do anything remotely related to journalism, as in, reporting facts?:

Our general view here is that we are not limited by geography in our training and support for Iraqi security forces. And what these additional forces will enable is flexibility for our personnel to go to different parts of the country and to provide that function of supporting Iraqi security forces.

It does not change the President’s policy that U.S. forces will not be engaged in combat in Iraq. So even as these forces are able to deploy to different parts of the country to provide the train, advise-and-assist mission, they will not be introduced into combat. That is the Iraqi security forces and the Peshmerga who will be fighting on the frontlines against ISIL.

CNN, on the other hand, didn’t obsess over “boots on the ground” but settled for spreading fear of “mission creep”:

The White House has insisted that the US operation against ISIS will not include “boots on the ground.” But the new announcement by an administration that made ending foreign wars a core of its foreign policy is likely to fuel new concerns of “mission creep” among the president’s critics.

Which is another way of saying that, eventually, there will be “boots on the ground” – American boots worn by American troops.

It would be a welcome relief if the MSM would spend this much time parsing – or even reporting – the things said by Republicans.

In fact, training is just that: training. As reporters were told, this will be “hands-on training. So this is where we’re going to be able to take up to 12 brigades, again, a mix of Pesh and Iraqi security force brigades at several sites and actually help train them in basic military skills, organizational command and control and leadership functions.”

Additionally, reporters were told that, “the President will request an additional $5.6 billion in overseas contingency operations funding for FY15. June’s OCO budget amendment for fiscal year 2015 “included $58.6 billion; that reflected the cost of the operations in Afghanistan, DOD’s forward presence in the Middle East, and a number of other critical missions, including the Counterterrorism Partnership Fund that the President announced in early June.”

The updated request that the President will transmit and that we are announcing today will reflect additional costs that were unanticipated at the time when the President submitted that initial request in June.

Principally, of the $5.6 billion, that reflects our estimate of the costs associated with the counter-ISIL campaign that was just outlined. Just to break that down a little bit, that breaks down as $5 billion for the Department of Defense and about $520 million for the State Department. Within the Department of Defense resources, roughly $3.4 billion of that is to support the ongoing operations, including military advisers, intelligence platforms, and munitions that are being expended in the context of the campaign that is currently underway.

The additional $1.6 billion will support the Iraq train-and-equip mission through a new Iraq train-and-equip fund. These will provide resources to support the training effort that my colleagues will talk about in more detail.

Asked by a reporter whether “the Iraqi security forces need weapons-capability improvements, like Apaches and new M-1s or other types of hardware?” the senior administration official answered,

[A]s you know, we have a robust defense sales program with Iraq and they do have equipment and weapons needs that we continue to meet, as in the shipment of hundreds more Hellfire missiles just this month. But what we’re talking about today is really advise, assist and training, and trying to improve their capabilities, their organizational skills, their ability to provide enablers for themselves or at least to supplement the enablers that they have to help them with the intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance capabilities. So it’s really — this is mostly about capabilities. And the robust defense trade relationship that we have with Iraq will continue as well.

What is sad/funny/pathetic and wholly disingenuous, is that while crying that Obama has broken his promise to not commit US forces to combat, Republicans are saying none of this is enough. CNN reports that Republican Howard ‘Buck’ McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services committee, says that,

“I would urge the President to reconsider his strategy and clearly explain how this additional funding supports a new direction. Such clarity is more likely to find swift congressional approval.”

Other than “training, advising, and assisting,” what more is there for President Obama to do other than put “boots on the ground”?Needless to say, this is the very thing Republicans attack Obama for doing, even though he hasn’t done it. Which only goes to show, it’s a lot easier to criticize when you don’t have any ideas of your own.

All of which only goes to underscore Wesley Clark’s point that we need a new national strategy. Clearly, the knee-jerk gainsaying of anything President Obama does is not a viable national strategy.

19 Replies to “Obama Sends 1500 Advisers to Iraq – Fox News Freaks Out”

  1. Are you people really this stupid? He ran on retreating from Iraq. It went to hell. He promised no more troops in Iraq. He sends troops. You claim “assist! not combat!” The sycophancy is mind-boggling.

  2. 1. He withdrew our troops from Iraq in accordance with a binding agreement with the Iraqi government, signed by President George W. Bush.
    2. How is this then Obama’s fault?

    Or, put another way,

    How is the fact that Bush’s bumbled Iraqi occupation policies led to the rise of al Qaeda and then ISIL in Iraq the fault of the president who inherited the mess?

  3. Go suck another Koch, Sage. People here aren’t as lame as you are used to on Breitbart and Stormfront.

  4. What isn’t surprising is the now-subdued tone of the media coverage of the two campaign-season freak-outs, Ebola and ISIS. Neither topic is covered in the same OMG! Sauce that they once were. It’s almost like they were hyped, solely to ensure a political outcome, and now that outcome has been reached, suddenly they now are on the back cover-page of the media menu, next to low-calorie tofu salads.

  5. Excuse, the low information voter (another way of saying un-educate or better yet, ignorant).
    While the fox & CNN talk sh#t.

    This is why I got Pres. Obama back:
    1. Iraq: 1 of ISIL top leader reported DEAD w/ the assistance of US airstrikes: https://twitter.com/jarastaroots/status/531156966434172929
    2. Russia: U.S. & Int’l coalition sanction against Russia: https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPR/status/530823737508372481
    3. Secured the release of 2 U.S. citizens from N.Korea: https://twitter.com/AP/status/531103038245974016

  6. Iran: https://twitter.com/rezamarashi/status/531103514513375234
    Oh Yea, Pres. nominated the first (ever) Afro-Amer. woman for AG Loretta Lynch

    B4 I forget this is what the adminisration did:
    This was the President’s day (much Lov TOD)

    And why the GOP/CNN make big of repubs elected 1st Afro-Amer. woman to cong.. Let me break it you. Dem’s been there, done that: https://twitter.com/nealcarter/status/531152739364265985

  7. Our military is currently kicking ass and taking names in Iraq with no American troops committed to combat roles. I am sure everybody has heard about the wounding of the ISIS leader. This is great news!

  8. F*** off FOX, GOP. You can’t do anything again but complain about Obama, and hate him because he is a black man who pull us out of hell and because he is black, and the President you hate him because of it, and want give him any credit for the 5.8 unemployment,over 200 thousand jobs and more a month he created, health care for people that the GOP don’t want you to have, and that bought and paid for Supreme Court 5-4 garbage that more than likely will gut the ACA, but people will remember when 7 GOP Senators are up for elections so remember what happen to the Dems we got our a**** kick but payback is a barking dog, and in 2 years it will bark, because the GOP want get nothing done at all. They skip and hop after they won but know one told them that Obama is still President and he is gone to Veto like hell, and Dems in the Senate will filibuster remember that GOP? But the big thing is you do not have the 2/3 are what ever that number is to override.So once again you get nothing.

  9. I recall all too well the actual role of “advisers” in Vietnam and Cambodia. Some of you may also remember how that turned out.

    “Those that cannot (refuse) to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

    I have been an Obama supporter from his first announcement to run for the presidency. He has been a huge disappointment to many because he has been more like the hand-picked successor to George W. Bush.

    Think about it, how much has he really changed? That disgrace of a health care plan borrowed from “Romneycare” in Massachusetts isn’t a plan compared to those in civilized countries; it’s an insult.

    Other than that – nothing.

  10. We can never enough ‘arm chair quarterbacks” like the guy above this comment. It’s amazing to me how this guy has the answers Obama should know. Some people just need to get out more. The president of the United States of America will probably call him soon for guidance.

  11. Why would @Foxnews freakout when Lindsey and McCain are home hiding in their bathrooms masturbating with glee?

  12. Sage — Notice how “they” never attack your facts, only your associations, such as Fox and Breitbart…

  13. First, they are not valid sources.
    Seconds, he had no facts. Why attack them? His lack of knowledge on the subject is epic

  14. Well you CONS bring facts to the table……Silly me, according to you teahadist facts has an liberal bias so nevermind

  15. I don’t think they are stupid; just desperate for someone to believe in. Bush left whoever the next pres. was going to be with a NIGHTMARE in Iraq and Afghanistan. I honestly don’t know how he sleeps at night (Cheney’s another story: in his crypt, of course!). THE PEOPLE wanted us out, Obama got us out. The Iraqis turned out to be dumb-fucks–gee what a surprise!-now people are cursing Obama for doing what we wanted him to do in the first place! WAKE UP! It’s the Middle East! They still stone people and cut people’s heads off! You want war? They LOVE that shit! You want peace? They’ll just use it to lop off more heads! Diplomacy? Ever heard the duck and the scorpion story? Scorpion wants to cross the Jordan on the duck’s back, duck says-no way, you’ll sting me and we’ll both drown, scorpion says-you’re crazy! I’m not suicidal! Duck carries him, sure enough, the scorpion stings him! As they both drown, the duck says-Hey! You promised! Scorpion smiles and says-This is the Midd…

  16. An insult, really? At least he tried and got it off the ground. Maybe if liberals weren’t too lazy to go out and vote in the mid-terms, and had actually supported the President’s agenda, there would be a lot more getting done. But they’d rather cry about how disappointed they are in President Obama. Boo hoo. Now we’re stuck.

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