Last week’s raid against an ISIS prison in Iraq, which led to the first American combat death of the latest Iraq war, has left the administration struggling with repeated promises not to send ground troops into combat in Iraq, and the obvious combat nature of the mission.
While most analysts expected that the raid would simply mark the eventual shift to overt ground combat, one which has been expected at any rate, Pentagon officials have tried to present overt gunbattles with enemy troops as an “advisory” mission.
Likely part of this dispute is that the raid was approved by the Secretary of Defense, who only “informed” the White House of the fact. The White House seems to be trying to avoid going directly on the record about the matter until they see whether the public is going to buy the idea of this being something short of combat.
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