Jul 7, 2014
In a letter to House and Senate leaders on June 30, President Barack Obama wrote, “I have ordered up to approximately 200 additional U.S. Armed Forces personnel to Iraq.” He added that “this force is equipped for combat,” and that it “will remain in Iraq until ... it is no longer needed.” Indefinitely, that is.
But hadn’t Obama said in early June, when he deployed 300 military “advisers” to Iraq, that he would NOT send combat troops? Well, he did anyway, and not limited to 200 either. The same day, Pentagon officials told the press that 100 additional troops, who had been on standby in the Middle-East since mid-June, were also being moved to Baghdad. Accompanied by attack helicopters and drones.
Add to that at least 3,500 soldiers stationed in Kuwait next door. PLUS at least 30,000 more troops present in the region. PLUS thousands of “private security contractors” – that is, mercenaries – in Iraq, whose full number is never disclosed. PLUS hundreds of military aircraft in the Middle East, including F-16s, and MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper drones.
No, the U.S. war machine never left Iraq. And now it’s being engaged in full-fledged combat operations again – officially, and in bigger and bigger numbers.