Meetings among NATO defense ministers in Germany have ended with an agreement among the US and other nations involved in the anti-ISIS coalition to “do more” in the war, according to Defense Secretary Ash Carter.
Carter did not provide much in the way of details on what “more” would entail, but said it would involve confronting ISIS in both Iraq and Syria, in an effort to keep the group from spreading beyond the region any further.
Over the last two weeks, however, the US has announced two significant escalations already, of over 200 troops each, in both Iraq and Syria. Britain also reported just yesterday that they intend to send “several hundred” more troops to Iraq to join the 300 already there.
On top of that Secretary Carter announced just yesterday that the US is consider sending even more troops to both Iraq and Syria, above and beyond the ones already announced, saying the US iss “always looking to build momentum” in the war with more troops.
The US presently has over 5,000 ground troops in Iraq, and 300 in Syria. In addition to Britain, several other nations have smaller deployments of “trainers” in Iraq, though no one else in the US coalition is confirmed to have troops in Syria.
Though President Obama has repeatedly ruled out “boots on the ground,” by sending small numbers in each escalation, over the course of a year and a half the US has build a significant military presence in the region.
Other nations have so far been extremely reluctant to commit ground troops, and Iraqi officials have resisted the idea of two many foreign troops in the country, particularly from the Sunni Arab nations in the US coalition.