Wednesday, October 28, 2015

U.S. weighs special forces in Syria, helicopters in Iraq

Dear Administration officials,

If there is an indigenous solution or if indigenous capabilities contribute to a solution then a proper part of the strategy is unconventional warfare based on our special warfare capabilities (though that ship probably sailed some years ago due to administration risk averseness and ignorance).   But I hope your new "3 R's" "strategy" based on counter-terrorism capabilities as applied to a civil war works out for us - at least it will look like we are doing something.  And at least we will be able to pound a lot of nails with our hammer.  We cannot apply our capabilities as either/or. It has to be both/and.  We need our surgical strike capabilities along with special warfare and they will be better employed if they rest on the long term actions of special warfare.  There is a yin yang relationship but our default to one over the other is not the way for SOF to support national strategy and campaign plans.

Very respectfully,

A concerned citizen

Excerpt.

Two U.S. officials, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing deliberations, said any deployments would be narrowly tailored, seeking to advance specific, limited military objectives in both Iraq and Syria.
That option includes temporarily deploying some U.S. special operations forces inside of Syria to advise moderate Syrian opposition fighters for the first time and, potentially, to help call in U.S. air strikes, one official said.

U.S. weighs special forces in Syria, helicopters in Iraq

WASHINGTON The United States is considering sending a small number of special operations forces to Syria and attack helicopters to Iraq as it weighs options to build momentum in the battle against Islamic State, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.

  • by Phil Stewart And Jeff Mason 
  •  Oct. 28, 2015 
  •  2 min read 
  •  original
WASHINGTON The United States is considering sending a small number of special operations forces to Syria and attack helicopters to Iraq as it weighs options to build momentum in the battle against Islamic State, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.
President Barack Obama, deeply averse to over-committing American troops to unpopular wars in the Middle East, could view some of the options as more viable than others as he approaches the final stretch of his presidency.
Still, Obama's administration is under pressure to ramp up America's effort, particularly after the fall of the Iraqi city of Ramadi to Islamic State in May and the failure of a U.S. military program to train and arm thousands of Syrian rebels.
Two U.S. officials, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing deliberations, said any deployments would be narrowly tailored, seeking to advance specific, limited military objectives in both Iraq and Syria.
That option includes temporarily deploying some U.S. special operations forces inside of Syria to advise moderate Syrian opposition fighters for the first time and, potentially, to help call in U.S. air strikes, one official said.
Other possibilities including sending a small number of Apache attack helicopters, and U.S. forces to operate them, to Iraq, as well as taking steps to bolster other Iraqi capabilities needed to claw back territory from Islamic State.
The deliberations come as the United States looks to Syrian opposition fighters it supports to put pressure on Raqqa, the Islamic State's stronghold, and for Iraqi forces to retake Ramadi after the city fell to the militants earlier this year.
The options appeared to stop short of deploying American troops in any direct ground combat roles, something Obama has so far ruled out.
One of the officials, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said the proposals were still in a conceptual stage - meaning that even if any were approved in the coming days, a U.S. military deployment could still be weeks or months away.
The Pentagon and White House declined comment on the options, which were also reported by the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.
Earlier on Tuesday, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter signaled his intent to step up the U.S. military's activity in Iraq and Syria, just days after U.S. forces participated in a raid to rescue Islamic State hostages in Iraq.
One U.S. soldier was killed in that mission.
"We won't hold back from supporting capable partners in opportunistic attacks against ISIL or conducting such missions directly, whether by strikes from the air or direct action on the ground," Carter told a Senate hearing, using an acronym for the militant group.
Marine Corp General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate hearing he would consider recommending putting more U.S. forces with Iraqi troops to support the Islamic State fight if it improved chances of defeating the militants.
"If it had operational or strategic impact and we could reinforce success, that would be the basic framework within which I'd make a recommendation for additional forces to be co-located with Iraqi units," Dunford said, without elaborating.
(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

1 comment:

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with the Concerned Citizen. I am equally Concerned.

    Juliana Geran Pilon, PhD, Senior Fellow
    The Alexander Hamilton Institute
    for the Study of Western Civilization

    ReplyDelete

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