Pentagon Likely to Send More Troops to Iraq After Latest Deployment

Gen. Votel: Even If ISIS Is Defeated, US Unlikely to Leave Iraq

by Jason Ditz, July 15, 2016

Just days after announcing another significant deployment of ground troops into Iraq, Pentagon officials are saying they fully expect to seek even more ground troops in future deployments, though they declined to offer any specifics on numbers or timetables.

This is in keeping with what the Pentagon has done throughout the ISIS War, getting a few hundred more troops here and there, and following each deployment up with an almost immediate request for another deployment. It is in this way that the US went from “no boots on the ground” to an official force of about 4,600, and an actual force of about 6,000, in just a couple years.

Pentagon officials insisted that near-term further deployments would be needed to rebuild the Qayara Air Base, which was recently captured by the Iraqi military. The last deployment was also supposed to be to repair the base, which was largely destroyed in US airstrikes over the past two years.

Gen. Joseph Votel, who confirmed that more troops would be sought, also insisted that even if ISIS was defeated, it would likely not mean any drawdown of US troops from Iraq, insisting that the US wants to retain “capabilities” in Iraq even after this war.

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