The President has just authorized sending up to 450 additional troops to Iraq. The stated goal: increase training of local security forces in their fight against ISIS. There are already 3,100 U.S. troops at four training sites in Iraq. Is this move reasonable, too aggressive, not aggressive enough, or missing the mark altogether? The answer varies, depending on who's covering the story.[Also see Rubio Under the Microscope, Jeb Busy, Still Not Running and the latest AllSides News.]
Snippets from the Left
"More broadly speaking, what confidence do we have that throwing a few hundred more U.S. training personnel into the mix will have any more success at turning around the Iraqi military? We spent years during the Bush administration training up the Iraqi security forces to the point that it at least resembled a competent fighting force. But in the years between the previous U.S. occupation and the current Iraq adventure, the Iraqi army dissolved into a morass of corruption or lethargy, forcing the returning U.S. military personnel to start basically from scratch. That was the end product of years of work with tens of thousands of U.S. troops on the ground."
Snippets from the Right
"With President Obama authorizing up to 450 additional U.S. troops to help in the training effort, White House and Pentagon officials say a major goal will be to bring those Sunnis on board.
But whether they can is an open question. And Republican lawmakers say the Obama administration still lacks a coherent strategy that can reverse ISIS gains.
'I don't think 450 troops are going to make the difference,' Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., told Fox News, while still calling Wednesday's announcement a 'good start.'"
Snippets from the Center
"Pentagon spokesman, Col. Steve Warren took it a step further, saying military planners are 'actively' looking at more lily pad sites, which, if approved, could mean hundreds of additional troops, if they can't redirect troops already in Iraq.
The decision to expand the U.S. military presence in Iraq comes as the Obama administration is facing increased criticism of its handling of ISIS, after the terrorist group seized control of a key Iraqi city last month. Those critics grew louder this week after Obama acknowledged during closing remarks at the G7 conference in Germany this week that the U.S. strategy in Iraq is still murky."
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