A week on from announcing what we were assured would be a very small “advisory” force for Iraq, President Obama has dramatically increased US involvement in the nation’s ongoing war with ISIS, as armed US drones loom over the capital city, and over 500 US troops have already arrived, with more expected.
More troops are coming, and more US Hellfire missiles, which have been sent to the Iraqi government in “emergency” shipments. 300 Hellfires the US already sent were burned through weeks ago, and the Maliki government is requesting another 1,400.
The US has promised to “expedite” the shipments of those as well, and along with other military gear the US is keen to increase the Iraqi military’s stockpiles, even as fleeing soldiers leave US-made arms in the field for ISIS to recover.
The scariest aspect of all this is that the administration is presenting its current response as very tempered, holding out for the replacement of the Maliki government. With talk that this could be resolved by Tuesday, an even more massive escalation of US involvement could be coming very soon.