Obama Poised to Send Special Forces to Iraq

White House Insists They Won't Count as 'Combat Troops'

President Obama’s previous pledges of “no boots on the ground” in Iraq seem to be fading, and it isn’t clear what sort of shoes they’ll actually be wearing, but Special Forces are expected to be deployed to Iraq very soon.

Instead of worrying about the boots on the ground promise, White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden seems to be shifting to the promise of “no combat troops” made over the weekend, and insisting the Special Forces won’t technically be “combat troops.”

What exactly they will be isn’t clear, but some sort of combination of “trainers” and “advisers” seems to be the plan right now, though that’s likely just the usual pretext to get the first troops there before sending more.

Earlier, officials had suggested that only a shipment of weapons and air strikes were seriously being considered, but recently the rhetoric has escalated, with an eye on getting the US more directly involved in Iraq’s growing war.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.