If you told candidate Barack Obama in 2008 that he’d be doubling troops in Iraq in the year 2014, after announcing he “ended the war in Iraq,” he would have laughed in your face. But reality is a funny thing, isn’t it?
Thankfully, Obama is listening to military leaders who have his ear at this crucial time to combat terrorism. With ISIS running rampant, murdering hostages and terrifying the Iraqi Army into hiding, it’s impossible for the United States to sit across the ocean and watch.
Today, Obama’s top military adviser Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he’s now open to considering U.S. ground troops to work with Iraqi Army to retake the city of Mosul.
Obama certainly doesn’t want troops on the ground but if he’s willing to heed Dempsey’s wisdom, that’s what we may soon see. And the public may actually be behind the strategy. In a a CBS News poll last month revealed that 71% of Americans said they supported continued air assaults against ISIS. More notably, 47% of Americans said they supported sending troops to Iraq, an increase of 9 percentage points since September.
Additionally, the White House proposes to request $5.6 billion for the campaign, with $1.6 billion of that segmented out for Iraqi troops.
In an interview about the troop upgrade, Obama called his move to double the troops “a new phase” and said that ISIS is not only a threat to Iraq but also to the surrounding region and ultimately, the United States.
“This is a threat we are not only committed to degrade, but also to destroy,” said Obama.
That’s the kind of language Americans have desperately needed to hear from the President for a long time. No one likes war — or wants to put our troops in harm’s way — but as the United States, we have a responsibility to lead the crusade against the terrorist thugs of ISIS
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