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Restored Republic via a GCR Update as of April 26 2018 Compiled 12:07 am EDT 26 April 2018 by Judy Byington, MSW, LCSW, ret. CEO, Child Ab...

Friday, April 29, 2016

Why More U.S. Special Forces in Syria and Iraq?

Why Is The U.S. Sending Special Forces Into Syria And Iraq?

The President calls for more U.S. special forces into Syria. Last week, more troops and gunships into Iraq. What is this push and its strategy for ISIS?

This image released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows the scene after a suicide bomber detonated his explosives-packed vehicle at a military checkpoint at the entrance to the Sayyida Zeinab suburb, Damascus, Monday, April 25, 2016. A bomb blast in a Damascus suburb that is home to one of the holiest Shiite shrines in Syria killed several people on Monday, according to a pro-government TV station and an activist-run monitoring group. (SANA via AP)

More American forces are headed out in the fight against the Islamic State. Last week, 200 more plus Apache helicopter gunships to Iraq to help retake Mosul. This week, yesterday, President Obama announced 250 more Special Operations forces headed into Syria to help take on ISIS. We know how these things can go. So, where exactly are the troops going? To do what? With what strategy? What endgame? This hour On Point: more U.S. troops in the fight against ISIS.

–Tom Ashbrook


Andrew Tilghman, senior writer and Pentagon bureau chief for the Military Times. (@andrewtilghman)

Stephen Biddle, professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University and senior fellow for defense policy at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Ibrahim al-Assil, Syrian political analyst at the Middle East Institute. President of Syrian Nonviolence Movement. (@iAssil)
From Tom’s Reading List

U.S. to Send 250 Additional Military Personnel to Syria — “The U.S. plans to send up to 250 additional military personnel to Syria to help local forces fighting Islamic State, significantly expanding the small American footprint in the war-ravaged country, according to U.S. officials. President Barack Obama recently signed off on the new deployment, which he is expected to announce Monday. The move will increase the total number of American military personnel operating on the ground inside Syria from 50 to about 300, the U.S. officials said.” (Wall Street Journal)

America Can’t Do Much About ISIS — “Civil wars of the kind in which the U.S. conflict with the Islamic State is embedded are notoriously hard to terminate and typically drag on for years. Datasets vary slightly, but most put the median duration of such conflicts at seven to 10 years; and an important minority drag on for a generation or more. When they do end, it’s rarely because an empowered, victorious army marches into the enemy capital, pulls down the flag, and governs a newly stable society. (The Atlantic)

This is the Pentagon’s new strategy to defeat ISIS — “The new plan calls for fighting the terror group like a conventional enemy, relying on traditional military tactics such as maneuver-style warfare and attrition. This has replaced last year’s approach, dubbed the “Iraq First Strategy,” which was widely criticized as ineffective, especially after ISIS fighters seized the city of Ramadi in May. Instead, the U.S. and its allies now intend to confront the extremist group and its force of about 30,000 fighters, targeting their strongholds and resources across Iraq and Syria simultaneously.” (Military Times)

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