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Obama: No Ground Troops For Iraq

President Obama addressed the military in Tampa today.

"I want to be clear. The American forces that have been deployed to Iraq do not and will not have a combat mission," Obama said.

"We will train and equip our partners. We will advise them and we will assist them. We will lead a broad coalition of countries who have a stake in this fight."

Also today, Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi ruled out foreign ground troops in Iraq. [More...]

"Not only is it not necessary," he said, "We don't want them. We won't allow them. Full stop."..."The only contribution the American forces or the international coalition is going to help us with is from the sky,"

He also said the U.S. will consult with Iraq on air strikes:

"We are not giving any blank check to the international coalition to hit any target in Iraq."...He said that the Iraqi military will choose and approve targets, and that the U.S. will not take action without consulting with Baghdad first.

Not surprisingly, he wants the U.S. to make a greater effort in Syria. He said Iraq won't fight Syria.

"We cannot afford to fight our neighbor, even if we disagree on many things," al-Abadi said. "This is our neighbor. We don't want to enter into problems with them. For us sovereignty of Syria is very important."

A House vote on arming the "moderate" Syrian rebels is expected this afternoon.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Pfffft! Except for title 50 (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 17, 2014 at 02:23:10 PM EST
    A legal loophole that allows any administration to be 50% full of $hit about boots on the ground :)

    So, there will be boots, but they won't (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Anne on Wed Sep 17, 2014 at 02:56:29 PM EST
    be combat boots?  Does this mean they will be unarmed?

    Why do I feel like we're in "depends on what the meaning of is is" territory?

    Methinks Obama doth protest too much.

    I sure hope there will be (none / 0) (#12)
    by KeysDan on Wed Sep 17, 2014 at 04:02:05 PM EST
    boots ready for combat and plenty of arms--working with or advising those Syrian "moderates" will be dangerous (cf. Afghanistan).

    Parent
    Bruno Bozzetto captured it all in 8 minutes (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Dadler on Wed Sep 17, 2014 at 05:55:25 PM EST
    Amazing (none / 0) (#25)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Sep 17, 2014 at 06:11:41 PM EST
    Love the arrival of Christianity

    Parent
    With those ground rules (none / 0) (#1)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Sep 17, 2014 at 01:57:21 PM EST
    we cannot win and shouldn't go in.

    He was down in Tampa meeting (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 17, 2014 at 02:26:50 PM EST
    With CentCom and JSOC, he has special forces boots on the ground.  He just doesn't have to legally admit it Jim :).  This speech given in front of THAT group must have been terribly funny.  It's like they are all running psyops on us, one of the Tampa specialties :)

    Parent
    I was referring to Abadi (1.00 / 1) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Sep 17, 2014 at 03:02:57 PM EST
    and I hope both he and Obama are pulling a Nixon.

    But if he is serious and if we do as he wants it is a waste and we should just let ISIS take it over and get ready to fight another day...

    Parent

    We have advisers there (none / 0) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 17, 2014 at 03:39:49 PM EST
    I guess advisers impart deeper knowledge than advisors :)  The last troop advisers in Iraq fought next to the Iraq troops they advised.  That was the chosen method of advisement.  So we will have what? One special forces operator per 6 or 7 Iraq troops?  If the ratio isn't working they'll just send more.

    I don't want President Obama to pull a Nixon :) Right now he's just pulling an Obama, he already did this advisers in Iraq aren't combat troops thing before.

    Parent

    How would bombing Hanoi harbor (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Sep 17, 2014 at 05:22:04 PM EST
    help in the war against ISIS?

    Parent
    So you think Obama is pulling (none / 0) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 17, 2014 at 05:46:28 PM EST
    A Nixon?

    Parent
    It's quite apparent that we're dealing with an aggressive and fairly well-armed non-state actor that controls a pretty good-sized chunk of territory, which is roughly comparable to the size of New England.

    But simply stating over and again that our goal here is to degrade and destroy ISIL, as various politicians in both parties have done and are doing, is really nothing but a public exercise in political d!ck-swinging. The folks in the Beltway media might swoon over such macho-sounding yet empty rhetoric, but the rest of us out here in the hinterlands are scratching our heads and saying, "WTF?"

    So, what's our immediate goal here -- to facilitate Iraqi and Kurdish efforts to reconquer the northwestern part of the country and retake the city of Mosul? Reduce ISIL's presence in Iraq to a manageable level? What is it?

    To be sure, we could do any of that, because the IS contingents are loosely formed, not unlike the Boer Commandos of the Second Anglo-Boer War in South Africa at the turn of the 20th century. And there's probably 12,000 IS fighters, at most.

    But that said, I've seen nothing in ISIL's behavior thus far which would lead me to believe that they'd be stupid and suicidal enough to stand up out in the open in a land where there's little natural cover, and proceed to slug it out mano a mano with opposing forces that are superior in both numbers and firepower. In our dreams! They'd be wiped out in short order.

    No, once they see what's being arrayed against them, they'll likely abandon most of their gains in Iraq and just scatter with the winds, and filter back across the border into Syria to regroup. These people have proved to be quite patient, and they're very adept at playing the long game.

    So then what are we going to do? Are we going to pack up again and go home? Re-engage the effort to nation-build in Iraq? Chase ISIL into Syria, despite the inherent risks involved in charting that particular course? All of the above? What is it?

    We got sucked into the Mesopotamian vortex once, thanks to the cartoonish ignorance, callous disregard and general incompetence of the prior administration, which focused like a laser beam upon the political optics of raising that "Mission Accomplished" banner over an aircraft carrier on prime-time TV, and gave hardly a thought to what came afterward when the klieg lights were shut down and the cameras moved on. We only just finally extricated ourselves from that morass a few years ago.

    It would be the height of folly to replicate that experience -- this time with our eyes wide open. The Obama administration needs to articulate clear and readily obtainable objectives, and also have in place a well-defined and achievable exit strategy, before I would be comfortable in fully supporting any re-intervention in Iraq, even on a limited scale.

    Aloha.

    Parent

    The only chronology of how they (none / 0) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 17, 2014 at 05:03:08 PM EST
    Did this before Donald is Mark Urban's 'Task Force Black'.  And that's just one voice so how can we judge?  I don't know.  But I am certain we are going down that road again only with paramilitary from many nations, not just United States and UK.

    Our joint work with special forces from other nations has grown dramatically since Obama became President.  After America dumped BushCo, other nations chose to trust us again, and we have been working together to prevent terrorist attacks in many countries...sharing intel, etc.

    Who would get everyone on the same page though to do this?  People at MacDill.  The President didn't just breeze by there today on his way to Cuba or to golf.  I don't think the world has ever seen anything like what I gather is being put together to go after ISIL.

    Parent

    jim, you Naval Airmen (5.00 / 5) (#4)
    by fishcamp on Wed Sep 17, 2014 at 02:39:22 PM EST
    don't put your boots on the ground anyway, do you? -:)

    Parent
    You are on fire today, fishcamp! (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Anne on Wed Sep 17, 2014 at 02:53:58 PM EST
    I am still giggling thinking about you in the swim fins walking backwards down the airplane aisle to your seat.

    I'm dying to know what the rest of your ensemble consisted of.

    Parent

    Well let me try to remember... (5.00 / 4) (#10)
    by fishcamp on Wed Sep 17, 2014 at 03:05:32 PM EST
    Shorts, T-shirt, sunglasses, and, of course, money and just enough of that to buy new flip flops in the Honolulu airport.  

    Parent
    Not if we can help it ;-) (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Sep 17, 2014 at 02:59:55 PM EST
    Pretty damn funny (none / 0) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 17, 2014 at 02:40:45 PM EST
    House just passed (none / 0) (#13)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Sep 17, 2014 at 04:16:53 PM EST
    The training bill.

    Woohoo

    Bipartisanship

    /-P

    The arming/training bill? (none / 0) (#15)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Sep 17, 2014 at 04:22:46 PM EST
    Frankly, (none / 0) (#16)
    by lentinel on Wed Sep 17, 2014 at 04:33:50 PM EST
    I don't believe him.

    I wonder if Obama's no-boots statement on the heels of the may-be-necessary-boots statement of General Martin Dempsey had to do with the published forecasts of a defeat for congressional democrats in the coming midterms.

    The polls that have been touted are telling us that the American people are way behind this war - this action - this bombing campaign - but I don't believe that either.

    And the vision of boots on the ground is all too reminiscent of what everybody loathed about Bush when the people threw the republicans out in the midterms of 2006, only to be betrayed by the democrats they replaced them with.

    I do agree with General Dempsey when he says,
    "Truly there is no military solution to ISIl."

    And if there is no military solution, what in blazes are we doing there?

    Your guess is as good as mine (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Slado on Wed Sep 17, 2014 at 04:48:58 PM EST
    What happens after we bomb Syria and Assad attacks the moderates?

    What happens if ISIL goes on an offensive and starts capturing major cities in Syria?  

    There is so little that can go right with this strategy I don't even know why we're bothering.

    Obama has contradicted himself so many times it's hard to keep up.  

    Obama says ISIS is JV and now he attacks.

    Obama says the Syrian Moderates are "doctors, dentists and pharmacists" but now he wants to arm them.

    Obama campaigned in 2012 on ending the war in Iraq and now he wants to start another one.

    Why do we believe anything this bozo says?  He makes it up as he goes along and the one thing I can guarantee is he's going to change his mind again.

    Parent

    buyneto (none / 0) (#19)
    by johnandew on Wed Sep 17, 2014 at 05:11:59 PM EST
    SITE VIOLATOR (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Sep 17, 2014 at 05:14:42 PM EST
    Didn't even buy us a drink first

    Parent
    Hmmmmmm (none / 0) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 17, 2014 at 06:06:46 PM EST
    Do we smell bad around here?

    Parent