anywhere but russia

Pentagon might propose sending ground troops to Syria
Barbara Starr, CNN, Feb 16 2017

FASCHINGSTEIN – The Pentagon might propose that Pindostan send conventional ground combat forces into northern Syria for the first time to speed up the fight against Daesh, CNN has learned. One Pentagon boxtop told CNN:

It’s possible that you may see conventional forces hit the ground in Syria for some period of time.

But the official emphasized that any decision is ultimately up to Pres Trump, who has ordered his Sec Def to come up with a proposal to combat ISIS before the end of the month. The move would significantly alter Pindo military operations in Syria if approved and could put troops on the ground within weeks. Until now, only small teams made up largely of SOF have operated in Syria, providing training and assistance to anti-Daesh opposition groups on the ground. Conventional units operate in larger numbers and would require a more significant footprint of security protection both on the ground and in the air. Pentagon boxtops are characterizing the concept of deploying ground troops as a point of discussion, stopping short of saying it’s a formal proposal. What their exact mission would be is not yet clear, but one goal of their their presence would be to help reassure Turkey that Kurdish forces are not posing a threat to Ankara’s interests (sic bollocks – RB).

It’s possible some troops would deploy first to Kuwait and then move into Syria. The Obama administration never embraced the idea of ground combat troops because of the inherent risks involved. If the idea is approved, it would signal a fundamental change in the Trump administration’s willingness to accept such risk. For one thing, it would be a sign of an increased willingness by Sec Def ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis and CJCoS Dunford to accept more risk for Pindo grunts in hope of gaining ground on Daesh. At his confirmation hearing, Mattis was not asked about putting more troops into Syria, but he did explain how he would seek to change Pindo military efforts in Iraq and Syria from Obama administration. ‘Mad Dog’ said:

I think it’s getting there as rapidly as possible, where it would be a more accelerated campaign.

Sending troops to Syria is just one of several ideas that may be presented to the president, the boxtop said. Discussions are also underway on fundamentally changing how troops are deployed to Iraq. The Obama administration established limits on how many troops could be in Iraq at any one time. As a result, troops have largely been deployed on an individual basis depending on how many trainers and advisers are needed. Right now, no more than 5,262 troops are allowed in Iraq, with 5,155 there currently. There are hundreds more temporarily assigned that are not counted under the ceiling. Trump may be asked to do away with all the limits so complete units can be sent and temporary deployments will also be counted. Commanders say this will give them more flexibility in operations, but it also will increase the number of troops there, something the Iraqi government would have to agree to. Also under discussion is increased cooperation with the Russians and the arming of Kurdish groups in northern Syria supported by Pindostan, at the risk of angering Turkey (sic bollocks – RB).

The Pentagon is reportedly considering recommending ground troops into Syria to fight Daesh
Pamela Engel, Yahoo News, Feb 15 2017

The Pentagon is considering recommending that Pindostan send ground troops into Syria to fight Daesh, according to a source who spoke to CNN. “It’s possible that you may see conventional forces hit the ground in Syria for some period of time,” a defense official told CNN. There are currently hundreds of US troops in Syria offering training and assistance to Pindo-backed local forces there. But conventional forces would likely be on the ground in larger numbers, according to CNN. CNN reported last month that Sec Def ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis was taking control of a Pentagon review to determine which options the Pentagon would present to Pres Trump on the fight against Daesh. The Pentagon boxtop cited by CNN in Wednesday’s report stressed that any decision on Syria would ultimately be up to Trump.

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