President Obama’s talk of the need for a complete strategy in the ISIS war earlier this week was followed up almost immediately last night by the announcement of another 450 ground troops being sent to Iraq. The troops will be heading to Anbar, where all the fighting is going on. Cue the usual protestations about them not being combat troops.
New strategy almost always means escalation, and US officials capped off this latest escalation with an ominous warning that the president has “not ruled out additional steps” against ISIS, and some reports that they could quickly bring the new troops number to around 1,000.
When a US war is going badly, it seems that political leaders seem to accept that the “safe” move is to stay the course and double down with more troops/money/bombs. The war is going so badly at this point, however, that they haven’t even finished announcing the last escalation while they’re already preparing us for the next.
A similar flurry of escalations happened last fall, but the administration had seemingly stopped that around the mid-term elections, and went back to trying to assure the public everything was well in hand. Now, with the fall of Ramadi, that claim isn’t working so well, so it’s back to adding troops to the war, while assuring everyone that the strategy is sound, and the whole reason it isn’t working is that Iraqi troops just don’t want it hard enough.