The U.S. ISIS Mission is Combat Not Training

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Combat Deaths

“MILITARY TIMES”

“The U.S. now has 300 troops in Syria, where the fight against ISIS is intensifying.

The Pentagon  is sending more troops to Iraq, boosting the total number there to more than 4,000.  Calling it a training mission is cold comfort to the parents, spouses and children of the deployed troops.

When U.S. and allied troops are on Islamic State turf with the mission of wiping it from existence, they are on a combat mission.  Calling it anything else is wrong.

Where those fights are being waged, American forces are targets from the moment they arrive. That they are tasked to train local forces to defeat ISIS and other enemies makes U.S. forces all the more vulnerable.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter had his chairman’s back, also telling lawmakers the U.S. troops were killed in combat.

“Why,” Sullivan asked during the back and forth, “can’t we level with the American people” and say that U.S. troops in harm’s way in the Middle East are in combat?

Why indeed.

Tragically, the danger facing American personnel in Iraq and Syria were made clear again on Tuesday, when Navy SEAL Charlie Keating was killed on a quick-reaction mission to aid U.S. military advisers under attack by large, coordinated ISIS force.

Carter has tried to defend the administration’s position on troops deployed in the fight against ISIS, saying that although troops have been killed in combat, the mission was to train and equip local forces so they can repel the terrorist group without U.S. support.

That’s a valid if extremely challenging strategy, one driven by numerous realities. Not the least of those is the American public’s weariness with sending its men and women into combat after more than a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, which remain volatile despite great sacrifices of life and treasure.

But the administration is trying to have it both ways and appear to be keeping the U.S. out of war while steadily building up forces in the region, increasing the number of troops deployed to combat zones, dropping bombs on enemy forces and, when necessary, engaging them in direct action.

The Pentagon has even created an Operation Inherent Resolve campaign medal for troops who have deployed as part of the mission to crush ISIS.

Where those fights are being waged, American forces are targets from the moment they arrive. That they are tasked to train local forces to defeat ISIS and other enemies makes U.S. forces all the more vulnerable.

The more the White House insists these troops are not part of a combat mission, the more distrust it breeds in the ranks and among the public. It’s viewed as the sort of condescending semantics Washington plays to deny the obvious. That can serve only to erode support for the mission.”

http://www.militarytimes.com/story/opinion/2016/05/05/military-times-editorial-islamic-state-combat-mission-iraq-syria/83992554/

 

 

2 responses »

  1. Pingback: Combat Creep–More USA Deaths in Bush-Cheney’s Iraq now in 2016 | Eslkevin's Blog

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