US to Double Number of Ground Troops in Iraq

White House Also Seeks Another $5.6 Billion for War

The White House has announced that President Obama has authorized a plan to more than double the number of US ground troops in Iraq, signing off on another 1,500 troops.

Officials declined to offer details about the timings of the deployments, or what the massive number of new “advisers” will actually be doing on the ground in Baghdad and Irbil.

Last week, however, Gen. Martin Dempsey began pushing the idea of moving the “advisers” out of Baghdad and Irbil and onto the front line with Iraqi ground troops in combat against ISIS.

The White House also revealed they are pushing the lame duck Congress to agree to another $5.6 billion for funding the war. Most of the cost of the war so far has been buried in other Pentagon funding for “contingencies,” though repeated escalations are making it harder to do this.

That’s likely to lead to a clash between the administration and the incoming, super-hawkish Congress, which is planning to push for an outright ground war in Iraq and Syria, and will no doubt use its power of the purse as leverage to try to force such escalations.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.