Mission Creep in Iraq? U.S. Air Strikes Against ISIS at Mosul Dam

CENTCOM confirms 9 strikes against ISIS near the Mosul Dam. This is far beyond the limits Obama set. There are no U.S. personnel or interests in needing protection in Mosul or Erbil. ISIS hasn't threatened U.S. interests. Baghdad, where the Embassy has ,personnel is and our interests lie, is 100 miles away. This is a bait and switch, as we all suspected it would be.

Obama authorized air strikes to save the Yazidis. He said further strikes would be allowed to protect American interests and personnel.

Beginning last night at 6 pm, U.S. warplanes struck ISIS in Mosul, in an effort to help the Kurds retake the Mosul Dam. The Kurds have reportedly retaken the East side of the dam.

"Kurdish peshmerga, with US air support, have seized control of the eastern side of the dam" complex, Major General Abdelrahman Korini told AFP, saying several jihadists had been killed.


A U.S. official tells ABC news the strike meets Obama's authorization because a "dam breach could mean torrent of water reaching Baghdad & US embassy."

An independent Kurdish news source, the Siemani Times, says U.S. Special Forces are fighting alongside the Peshmerga at the dam.

Here's the official ISIS video of their conquest of the dam in early August. (no violence.) ISIS did not shut down the dam, they brought in engineers to fix it (Reuters article here.)

Mission Creep:

the tendency for a task, especially a military operation, to become unintentionally wider in scope than its initial objectives.

...the gradual process by which a campaign or mission's objectives change over time, esp. with undesirable consequences.

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    I'm sorry to say I have been so numbed (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by ruffian on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 03:47:59 PM EST
    to our use of military force at will that it diode not occur to me until I listened to some progressive radio this morning to think to ask: where does Obama have the legal right to order these bombings? Surely not the AUMF.

    And we have a GOP willing to sue him over 'tyrannically' implementing the health care law congress enacted in a way they do not like...but this is just fine?

    I'm not even saying I would not support an authorization to use force in this case....but where is the authorization?

    Congress was (none / 0) (#3)
    by KeysDan on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 05:56:44 PM EST
    notified by the president of "Limited scope and duration as necessary to protect American personnel in Ira by stopping the current advance on Erbil by the terrorist group ISIL and to help forces in Iraq as they fight to break the siege of Mount Sinjar and protect the civilians trapped there."

    The legal authority for the new Iraq war (Iraq War III) stems from the US Constitution, Article II.  The 1973 War Powers Act requires presidents to notify Congress when invoking Article II powers and to seek authorization from Congress if the new conflict lasts more than 60 days.  

    The limited scope and duration set forth in the notification, may soon, if not already, be at odds with the mission.  As the president said, this may take "months not weeks."

    It is generally agreed, it seems, that the infamous 2003 AUMF no longer applies.  The Obama Administration, itself, only recently sought to end that resolution.  And, in our new intervention, we have a new enemy.  ISIS is not Saddam or, even,, al Qaeda.  And, a new war is not afoot only if US infantryman put their boots on the ground.   Senator Tim Kaine (D VA) has spoken in favor of a new authorization.


    Thank you Dan (none / 0) (#4)
    by ruffian on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 04:05:12 PM EST
    I must have erased the War Powers Act from my memory banks.

    Reading between the lines, I assume (none / 0) (#1)
    by Green26 on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 03:30:04 PM EST
    the US indicated, in recent weeks (or months), to Iraqi officials that the US would provide more support, including air power and equipment, if a more inclusive premier other than Maliki was selected. Note that the governor of the Anbar provence has said that he'd been assured that the US would help him against ISIS in Anbar. Here's an article on that subject.

    I assume the US will become more involved in defeating ISIS in Iraq, despite Obama's initial statements about a limited mission.