Tag Archives: Boots on the Ground

US Announces Special Operations Forces to be Deployed in Syria

President Barack Obama has authorized special operations forces to aid the rebel forces fighting against ISIS, according to senior administration officials.

The move is being described as a “shift” in the United State’s military strategy to combat ISIS.

“We have been focused on intensifying elements of our strategy that have been working, while also moving away from elements of our approach that have proven less effective,” said a senior administration official.

“Specifically, we have made good progress in both Iraq and Syria when we have worked closely with effective partners on the ground who have proven capable of reclaiming territory from ISIL and going on offense,” the official said.

“Specifically, we have enhanced our ability to partner with these forces – advising them and helping to facilitate their activities; providing air support for their ground offensives; and directly equipping them so that they are more effective. At the same time, we have scaled back elements of our training and equip mission with respect to Syria that involved taking forces out of Syria.”

[RELATED: New US-Trained Rebels in Syria Gave Their Weapons to al-Qaeda]

The number of forces deployed is expected to be less than 50. The troops will be assigned to northern Syria to assist Kurdish and Arab forces in that area, CNN reported.

The Guardian reports that in addition to special forces, there will be deployment of an A-10 “Warthog” attack aircraft and F-15 jets to Nato’s Incirlik base in Turkey.

This announcement marks a significant contrast to a pledge made by Obama in 2013 when he declared “I will not put boots on the ground in Syria,” as seen in the video below.

Donald Trump Denies Calling Afghanistan Invasion a Mistake

During an interview on Tuesday, GOP presidential candidate and billionaire mogul Donald Trump called the invasion of Iraq a mistake but denied describing the invasion of Afghanistan as such, marking a difference from comments he made earlier this month.

Trump received publicity when he criticized rival Jeb Bush’s comments about former President George W. Bush keeping the American people safe even though 9/11 occurred under his watch.

Following those comments, Trump told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota that he believes he would have had a better chance at keeping the U.S. protected if he were in office.

“This all started because Jeb made the statement that ‘under my brother we were safe,'” Trump said. “Well, he would have qualified by saying ‘after the attack,’ but he didn’t do that.”

Trump continued, “You can say ‘yes, we did well after,’ but then we also made mistakes there, because yes we were safe in a sense, but we went into Iraq, which was a disastrous decision, just a disastrous decision. Not Afghanistan, because that’s probably where we should have gone in the first place. But Iraq was a disastrous decision.”

Trump claimed that while he wasn’t saying he could have prevented the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001, he does think that he would have had a chance because he is “pretty good at this stuff.”

“I would have had a much tougher visa program, the visas are too easy,” said Trump, who also claimed that while the CIA warned of a possible attack, the main U.S. intelligence agencies weren’t working together.

“Then we went out and we attacked the wrong country,” Trump said. “We went out and attacked Iraq, they had no weapons of mass destruction, as you know and as we found out.”

Trump’s most recent comments contradict an earlier interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Oct. 6 when Trump was asked whether he thought keeping boots on the ground in Afghanistan was a good idea.

“I wouldn’t totally disagree with it, except, you know, at some point, are they going to be there for the next 200 years?” Trump replied.

“We made a terrible mistake getting involved there in the first place,” Trump continued. “We had real brilliant thinkers that didn’t know what the hell they were doing. And it’s a mess. It’s a mess. And at this point, you probably have to [stay] because that thing will collapse about two seconds after they leave. Just as I said that Iraq was going to collapse after we leave.”

When Camerota questioned Trump about his previous comments during Tuesday’s interview, he insisted that he “never said” that the U.S. made a mistake by invading Afghanistan.

“We made a mistake going into Iraq,” Trump said. “I’ve never said we made a mistake going into Afghanistan.” Trump denied making the October 6 comments about Afghanistan despite Camerota reading his comments on air back to him, as shown in the above-embedded video.

For more election coverage, click here.

Obama Preparing to Send Congress Request for Official Military Force Against ISIS

The White House is expected to send a resolution to Congress on Tuesday, requesting the clearance to use military force against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.

According to Reuters, the Obama administration’s “failure so far to seek a formal Authorization to Use Military Force for the campaign” has left some members of Congress concerned that it “overstepped the president’s constitutional authority.

The Associated Press noted that so far Obama has relied on the resolution Congress passed in 2002, authorizing President George W. Bush to use force against Iraq, which is something “scores of Democrats have regretted” and something Obama “used as a cudgel against his rivals to win the Democratic presidential nomination.”

Representative Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat from Maryland, said that he and his fellow Democrats were not going to just write Obama a “blank-check.”

Some want to give the executive a blank-check, and there are others, including me, who want to limit the war-making authority, especially with U.S. ground combat forces,” said Van Hollen. “Will it narrow it to Iraq and Syria, or allow operations in other countries?

Senator Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah, said he disagreed with anyone who wanted to limit the use of ground troops or to put an expiration date on authorization.

Most importantly, the authorization should not impose any artificial and unnecessary limitations such as those based on time, geography and type of force that could interfere with our strategic objective of defeating Islamic State,” Hatch said.

Senator Brian Schatz, a Democrat from Hawaii, said that although he has been “clear in opposition to boot on the ground,” he does want to see what the White House has proposed.

It’s traditional and expected for an administration to articulate their strategy to the Congress, so we want to give them a chance to do so,” Schatz said.

According to Reuters, the leader of the House of Representatives’ Democrats, Nancy Pelosi, released a statement last week saying the White House “would seek an authorization that would last three years,” but has not decided on “the geographic scope of an authorization or what limits would be placed on combat troops.”

Although the United States began carrying out airstrikes against ISIS in August, Obama has said that he will not authorize the use of ground troops to fight ISIS, and he will instead rely on a coalition that includes Iraqi forces and Syrian rebels on the ground.

Obama’s strategy regarding ISIS has been criticized by U.S. officials, such as former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who said he finds Obama’s resolve to completely destroy ISIS, both “unrealistic” and “unattainable,” and that instead of being pre-occupied with “today’s crisis,” the United States should be looking at its long-term strategy in the Middle East.

Glenn Beck and Ron Paul Agree: GOP Senate May Push for Boots on the Ground vs ISIS

On Tuesday night, former Republican Congressman and thought-leading libertarian Dr. Ron Paul took to Twitter to issue a warning that a Republican US Senate takeover could lead to a future in which ground troops are sent into Iraq and Syria to fight ISIS. Dr. Paul believes that the US should stay out of the sectarian warfare currently taking place in the region.

During conservative talk radio and TV host Glenn Beck’s Tuesday night election coverage on TheBlaze TV, one of his audience members asked, “Well, I was just curious what you thought within the next couple years exactly what our relationship’s going to end up with Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu?”

Glenn Beck replied, “Well, it couldn’t get worse, could it? I mean, unless we declare Bejamin Netanyahu an enemy of our country.”

He then framed his answer in terms of the debate over military action in Syria and Iraq, saying, “I happen to agree with Ron Paul. Ron Paul just issued a statement a few minutes ago and said look out, with the Republicans coming in, their solution for ISIS is going to be boots on the ground. And I think we are in such a mess in the Middle East now that I think that’s exactly what they’re — I mean, you know, the John McCains of the world, the Mitch McConnells, that’s the way they understand the Middle East, and, at the same time, I do think we have some hope the Republicans are going to stand by Israel, but my support for Israel is not to put boots on the ground for Israel, it’s to say ‘Israel we love you, and we support you. You go do what you have to do for your country.'”

During Tuesday’s election coverage on RT, Ben Swann and Erin Ade conducted an interview with Dr. Paul. In the segment, seen in the embedded video player below, Dr. Paul outlined his view that the US political system is dominated by what is effectively a one-party system. The discussion also touched on subjects like America’s thriving marijuana legalization movement, independent political parties, foreign policy, and more.