US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter informed the press on Tuesday that the military will expand its Special Operations force in Iraq as part of a ramped-up war effort to combat Daesh. Carter refused to say exactly how many ground troops are deploying but said it was more than 50. Carter added, “This force will also be in a position to conduct unilateral operations into Syria.” The Dept. of Defense claims these are new troops and not troops being redeployed from other parts of Iraq.
Carter appeared before the House Armed Services Committee with General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., and told those present, “We are at war,” and that the move would, “create a ‘virtuous cycle’ of better intelligence which generates more targets, more raids, more momentum.”
DoD officials state the new troops would work with Iraqi and Kurdish troops in Iraq and possibly Syrian and Arab troops in Syria. One official speaking anonymously said, “I think you can expect to see a slow ramp-up” of American forces in Iraq and perhaps even Syria. Senator John McCain of Arizona, who happens to chair the Armed Services Committee, said the deployment of more troops was “a belated step forward”.
Conservatives have been pressuring President Obama to ramp-up military action against Daesh and it appears he is listening. Obama is making decisions that he previously said he would never make. Namely, by making a decision to move away from solely conducting airstrikes and agreeing to send 50 special forces to Syria in October. Obama has now sent 3,500 American troops to Iraq, mostly to advise and train Iraqi troops.
The fact that Secretary Carter told Congress, “We are at war.” concerns me. The amount of money the Pentagon spent on military hardware alone in 2014 could fund every social services agency in America for a decade. Obama appears to be folding to pressure from the neo-conservative war hawks. When he was running for president in 2007, his main campaign promise was to finally withdraw troops from Iraq. Now he is itching at the chance to occupy the country again. As a nation, we’ve been in a state of perpetual war since 9/11. Private military contractors and military hardware corporations like Lockheed Martin are making record profits while our social welfare agencies are being de-funded. Perpetual war is leading to perpetual disparity, an increase in fascism, and belligerent misspending. We’ve become a nation of warriors bent on importing our brand of cultural diarrhea that we love to label as “democracy”. We’ve become what our founding fathers despised.