The United State is deploying up to 275 military troops to Iraq to protect the U.S. Embassy and other American interests and is considering sending a contingent of special forces soldiers as Iraq struggles to repel a rampant insurgency, officials said Monday. The White House insisted anew the U.S. would not be sending combat troops and thrusting America into a new Iraq war.
President Barack Obama, in a formal report to Congress, said the troops in in the deployment he was announcing would be equipped for combat and would remain in Iraq until the security situation improved. About 160 troops are already in Iraq, including 50 Marines and more than 100 Army soldiers. Some of those soldiers have only recently arrived.
Under the authorization Obama outlined Monday, a U.S. official said, the U.S. would put an additional 100 soldiers in a nearby third country where they would be held in reserve until needed.
I hate to invoke Benghazi, but there might be a little bit of extra caution playing out here. And bear in mind that this particular deployment isn't for purposes of combat, but to prevent the embassy from falling in what would surely be coupled with Benghazi by opponents of the White House.
However, engaging ISIS insurgents could predictably turn into another bloody mess.
In an interview Monday with Yahoo! News, Kerry said the U.S. would "not rule out anything that would be constructive" but stressed that any contacts with Iran would move "step-by-step."
As we discussed earlier, such a move would make an already complicated situation in Syria even more complicated, given how ISIS is deeply ensconced in the opposition to the Assad regime.
Here we go again.