President Obama is planning a major address to the nation on Wednesday in which he will be lay out what he is calling his “game plan” for the new war against ISIS, including plans to significantly widen the war.
Obama offered some glimpses into the plan’s goal of “defeating” ISIS, but once again gave no indication exactly how that would be achieved, beyond “going on the offensive.”
In laying out plans for this massive new war in Iraq, and likely eventually Syria, President Obama is expected to take great pains to try to convince the public that it doesn’t amount to a new Iraq War, even though it’s a war in Iraq against materially the same opponent the US fought during much of the last occupation.
The renaming of the opponent from al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) to ISIS has allowed the administration to paint this as a whole new war, instead of just the resumption of the last, failed conflict. He is also continuing to insist that ground troops won’t be used.
That continues to be a main talking point, despite increased numbers of US ground troops already sent to Iraq, and indications that the Pentagon is in the process of assembling a new army of contractors to fight a protracted war in Iraq.