President Obama hasn’t gotten approval for his “intentionally vague” Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) against ISIS, but the Pentagon is already scrambling to escalate its military presence in the region in preparation of the ground war it would start.
Over 4,000 ground combat troops from Fort Carson’s 3rd Brigade are being sent to Kuwait under this new deployment, where they will make up the region’s largest collection of US ground troops, which will include heavy armored vehicles.
Even as President Obama continues to deny plans for a ground war, it’s not a secret what the troops are being sent to Kuwait for, and officials say they’re prepared for “any contingency,” which in this context means a fight with ISIS.
The US has scattered its current ground contingent in Iraq across several different areas, with the 320 ground troops deployed as “trainers” in the Anbar Province now on the front lines of the Iraq-ISIS war. ISIS fires intermittently at their base, and it seems only a matter of time before they’re in direct combat.
Which is where the “over 4,000” troops from Fort Carson come in. Unlike the putative trainers being sent, these include not only infantry but a whole brigade with the large amount of armored units. There’s not even the pretense that these guys aren’t being sent for a very heavy ground war.
The White House has admitted as much this week as well, following up President Obama’s Tuesday pledge not to get involved in a ground war with talk of “flexibility,” and dismissing the AUMF pledge to avoid “enduring offensive ground combat operations” as literally meaningless, saying they had no definition at all of “enduring.”
Whatever enduring means, the troops from Fort Carson are about to find out, and officials are either waiting for the AUMF or some ready-made emergency with the Anbar troops to launch the ground war.