Patterico's Pontifications


200 More

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:38 pm

[guest post by Dana]

President Obama told Congress today that he is sending 200 more troops to Iraq:

“This force is deploying for the purpose of protecting U.S. citizens and property, if necessary, and is equipped for combat,” the president said in a letter to congressional leaders. “This force will remain in Iraq until the security situation becomes such that it is no longer needed.”

Mr. Obama added that his action is “consistent with my responsibility to protect U.S. citizens both at home and abroad.”

The White House maintains that U.S. forces will not re-enter combat in Iraq, even as the jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant continues to wreak havoc across the country.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said Monday that the new troops were being dispatched along with a detachment of helicopters and drones.

This announcement now brings the total of U.S. forces in Iraq to nearly 800. According to the administration, U.S. forces are in Iraq to train local forces, secure the embassy and protect American interests.


UPDATE: It should be noted that this deployment is a bit different from the previous ones in that these troops are “equipped for combat.”

37 Responses to “200 More”

  1. Ding! Btw, Douche bill ayers will be w/Megyn in a few.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  2. Good for him. Obama. (I know, right? I’m surprised by myself too.) His obstructionists here will be the doves in his own party.

    nk (dbc370)

  3. Dejavu from the MAAG wiki;

    The next few years saw the rise of a Communist insurgency in South Vietnam, and President Diem looked increasingly to US military assistance to strengthen his position, albeit with certain reservations. Attacks on US military advisers in Vietnam became more frequent. On October 22, 1957, MAAG and USIS installations in Saigon were bombed, injuring US military advisers.[4] In the summer of 1959, Communist guerrillas staged an attack on a Vietnamese military base in Bien Hoa, killing and wounding several MAAG personnel.[5] During this time, American advisers were not put in high ranking positions, and President Diem was reluctant to allow American advisers into Vietnamese tactical units. He was afraid that the United States would gain control or influence over his forces if Americans got into the ranks of the army. The first signs that his position was beginning to shift came in 1960, when the number of official US military advisers in the country was increased from 327 to 685 at the request of the South Vietnamese government.[5] By 1961, communist guerrillas were becoming stronger and more active. This increased enemy contacts in size and intensity throughout South Vietnam. At this point, Diem was under pressure from US authorities to liberalize his regime and implement reforms. Although key elements in the US administration were resisting his requests for increased military funding and Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) troop ceilings, MAAG played a significant role in advocating for a greater US presence in the country.[6] Throughout this period relations between the MAAG and Diem were described as “excellent”, even through the advisers were doubtful of his ability to hold off the insurgency.[7]

    narciso (3fec35)

  4. No blood for oil !
    Or something !

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  5. The interesting thing is that fewer than 300 Americans have started to turn the tide a little bit – part of Tikrit was recaptured.

    That should not be such a surprise – French Marshal Foch was instrumental in helping Poland defeatr Russia in 1920.

    Whoever is there seems to be assessing whatever is available and making military plans.

    By the way, Obama didn’t send anybody until the Iraqi Parliament had passed some kind of status of forces agreement.

    Sammy Finkelman (b7774f)

  6. Russians and Iranians are running the show,

    narciso (3fec35)

  7. Non-kinetic military action

    JD (95650e)

  8. hostage force…

    just enough people to recreate the Little Big Horn.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  9. “By the way, Obama didn’t send anybody until the Iraqi Parliament had passed some kind of status of forces agreement.”

    Rubbish. Obama is relying on the Malaki government say so, not the action of the Iraqi parliament. Mind you, I wouldn’t put it past the Obama administration to have no agreement at all, now that it wants too commit our soldiers.

    Davod (4cc250)

  10. WRT the update and “equipped for combat”

    Richard Aubrey (0605ef)

  11. wrt the update and “equipped for combat”

    Richard Aubrey (0605ef)

  12. Richard Aubrey — the claim was that they would be non-combatants and hence did not need to take arms with them. It didn’t make any sense then, and makes no more sense now.

    300+200+300+ Look out, it’s a TRAP!

    htom (412a17)

  13. Obama is simply delaying the announcements as much as possible. He gives a number slightly higher than what he has agreed to so far, then when he decides to send more, the number goes up.

    Sammy Finkelman (95e288)

  14. Isis declared a caliphate on Saturday.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  15. who’s the caliph Mr. Sammy?

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  16. 14. Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 7/1/2014 @ 10:10 am

    Isis declared a caliphate on Saturday.

    15. happyfeet (8ce051) — 7/1/2014 @ 10:14 am

    who’s the caliph Mr. Sammy?

    I didn’t know. They did this rather quietly.

    It’s in the middle of a newspaper story or two.

    I checked.

    The caliph is….Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the nom de guerre of the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (or al-Sham) or Iraq and the Levant (Isis)

    And they also changed their name.


    The Islamic State – period.

    No more limitation to Iraq and Greater Syria.

    Although everybody is still calling it ISIS.

    The announcement, recited in Arabic on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan by spokesman Abu Mohammed Al Adnani into an audio file, effectively renames the group the Islamic State, canceling its previous title of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS….

    The spokesman also declares the group’s leader, Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, as the new Islamic State’s caliph. The recorded message was recorded on an Mp3 audio file and distributed through the group’s expansive social media presence.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  17. And they said that all Moslems in the world owe allegiance to it.

    That includes, I presume, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the old head of al Qaeda.

    And all members of Al Qaeda in Syria.

    And al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. (Yemen)

    And al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (North Africa)

    And al Shabab in Somalia

    And Boko Haram in Nigeria.

    From the translation of the audio file:

    “We have had all the requirements of the Islamic state like fundraising, almsgiving, penalties, and prayers and still have only one thing which is the caliphate. The legality of all emirates, groups, states, and organizations, becomes null by the expansion of the caliph’s authority and arrival of its troops to their areas.

    That means I guess, that whereever their troops arrive they are the ruler, or Baghdadi is.

    Now Rich Galen ( Saturday with

    with an Iraqi expert who returned from
    Baghdad Saturday afternoon.

    His basic thesis is this:

    The military phase is over.

    ISIS, even though it has declared a Caliphate, is stretched very
    thin and cannot prosecute further serious military expansion while
    it attempts to form the civil infrastructure to manage the
    territory it now controls.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  18. Iraq now is trying to get back the planes from Iran that Saddam Hussein sent there in 1991.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  19. The military phase is over.

    hello? islamic insurgents are islamic insurgents

    they’re rambunctiously asymmetric

    and they have all the momentum

    they have all the morale

    and they have tons of stuff what goes bang

    and they have over two more years of obama

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  20. I don’t really think it is over.

    But they may be pretending to be more powerful than they are.

    Also, may be working out a deal with Iran and Syria.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  21. On the CBS Evening News Scott Pelley, in introducing a story said ISIS had “declared independence”

    They did a little bit more than that. They declared themselves the rulers…

    After arguing, that bordered on or maybe even included fistfights, the Iraqi Parliament recessed for a week.

    Scott Pelley says Maliki probably can’t get another term.

    Sammy Finkelman (95e288)


    While no one expects the vast majority of Muslims worldwide to migrate to Baghdadi’s state, or caliphate, in Iraq and Syria to build up from there to take over the whole world, the question does arise of what implications there are for Baghdadi’s project and how it plays out on the ground

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  23. Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal was using constructions like “the Islamic state, which used to be called the Islamic State or Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS” but everyone else is still calling it Islamic State or Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.

    Sammy Finkelman (688d8d)

  24. * the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham

    The name formerly used by the Wall Street Journal.

    Sammy Finkelman (688d8d)

  25. The New York Times had a story Sunday, which had buried in it why and how the capture of Mosul took so many people by surprise:

    Paragraphs 11 and 12 of 24:

    In Mosul, two weeks before ISIS attacked and overran the city, it began broadcasting individualized death threats on its Facebook accounts to every Iraqi journalist working in the city, said one of those singled out.

    Most of them fled or stopped working, which was probably one of the reasons the militants’ advance on the city received such little outside attention.

    Sammy Finkelman (cd2969)

  26. They had another story Wednesday, this time on the front page, which says it wasn’t the soldiers, it was the officers, and mismangagment in the way things were set up.

    For instance, the border posts had contracts for the delivery of food and water that made sense in peaceful conditions but didn’t make sense for a war zone. The vendors refused to travel through territory under ISIS influence or control. They ran out of food and water, and the locals were afraid to help. Plus, higher officers deserted. And they may have received very bad orders.

    “We were sold, it was a sellout,” said one of the enlisted men, as a crowd of his fellow guards nodded in agreement. “Everyone here was willing to fight.”

    The account of the Ninth Brigade of Iraq’s border guards, confirmed by an official who witnessed many of the events, is a portrait of generals unfit to lead in war and of mismanagement, incompetence and ultimately treachery under the patronage of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.

    On June 22, there ws an abrupt order to abandon Qaim, and head to Waleel, but Qaim was essential to Iraq’s defense. Their division comamnder was someone who had left the army in disgrace in 2008 after providing weapons to the Mahdi army (in 2008 the Iraqi Prime Minister had turned against the Mahdi Army)

    Sammy Finkelman (cd2969)

  27. Dempsey has testified that he thinks Baghdad can be defended, but it a whole other story when it comes to recovering territory lost (to the group formerly known as ISIS, now apparently would be rulers of the world)

    They are too good.

    From the New York Times article of last Sunday that I linked to in comment 25:

    When the governments it was fighting pulled the plug on its cellphone connections, it had engineers come in to set up mobile hot spots offering Internet access.

    Engineers? Fluency in English, which they have to?

    They’re getting help from outside – some country.

    Sammy Finkelman (cd2969)

  28. The “invisible Caliph” with only two known pictures of him extant, has made a public appearance on video (or was that him?) leading the prayers at Mosul’s Nuriddin Mosque last Friday:

    Sammy Finkelman (cd2969)

  29. 14. 15. 16.

    The name of the Caliph (formerly known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi) is:

    Ibrahim Ibn Awad Ibn Ibrahim Ali Ibn Muhammad al-Badri al-Hashimi al-Husayni al-Qurashi.

    Or Caliph Ibrahim for short.

    Maybe, more accurately, that should be Khalifa Ibrahim.

    And he claims descent from the Prophet Mohammed and wears a Rolex watch.

    Sammy Finkelman (cd2969)


    The Islamic State, or ISIS, has responded to critics who have questioned why its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is not actively supporting Hamas in fighting Israel.

    After capturing vast swathes of Iraq and Syria, ISIS declared the regions under its control as a “Caliphate”, or Islamic state, and appointed Baghdadi as “leader of the Muslims”. While many jihadists celebrated the announcement, others – including Al Qaeda, which ISIS broke off from last year – have criticized the move for a variety of reasons.

    Since the recent escalation between Israel and Islamist terrorists in Gaza, some of those critics have questioned why a self-declared “Caliphate” is not rushing to the aid of Muslims in the Hamas-controlled territory.

    In a statement a spokesperson for the group, Nidal Nuseiri reaffirmed that conquering “Bayt el-Maqdis” (Jerusalem) and destroying the State of Israel is central to the group’s “jihad”, or holy war.

    However, he pointed out that ISIS has been taking a systematic approach in its campaign, and outlined six specific stages it said needed to be fulfilled before taking on Israel.

    Some of those “stages” – building a firm base for an Islamic state in Iraq, and using it as a springboard to wage war in Syria and Lebanon – have already been achieved. But he said a number of other criteria still needed to be fulfilled before challenging Israel directly.

    Among them, Nuseiri said that the US – seen as Israel’s greatest ally – needed to be weakened politically and economically via attacks on the American mainland, as well as US interests in Muslim countries. Additionally, the existing “Islamic State” needed to expand its borders to cover all of “Greater Syria” (which would include Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and possibly Gaza); such a state, he said, would then be in a position for a direct confrontation with Israel.

    Actually, of course, “Greater Syria” includes all of what is now Israel, so something is wrong here..

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  31. 30. An earlier name for Bagdadi (this probably could not have been his legal name in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq) was Awwad Ibrahim al-Badri al-Samarri. al-Samarri means the Sammaran and is a reference to his coming from the city of Samarra – he is said to have been born near there, in 1971.

    The first boss of al Qauda in Iraq was Abu Musab al Zarqawi (father of Musa from the city of Zarqa in Jordan) who was killed y the United states in 2006 after a long hunt) He was succeeded by Abu Omar Bagdadi, and after he was killed the leader became Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, as he was known then)

    Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi never swore allegiance to Ayman al-Zawahiri, as he had Osama bin Laden.

    At some point the al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia (I think it may not have used the term Iraq but I don’t don’t think it’s been translated as anythibg but Iraq for a long time – perhaps it later used Iraq) changed its name to the Islamic State of Iraq.

    In April 2013, (April 8 or 9) ISI announced it as merging with the al-Nusra Front group in Syria (to its surprise) and would henceforth be known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. For Syria they used the word al-Sham, which means historic or greater Syria, and includes what is now Lebanon, Jordan, Israel/Palestine and a bit of Turkey.

    In May 2013, (in a letter which became public around June 10) Zawahiri said both should remain independent of each other, with its own emir, and report to the al Qaeda general command, and Baghdadi should pull out of Syria and confine himself to Iraq.

    In an audio tape releaed June 15, 2013, Baghdadi rejected this and delclared his independence from al Qaeda’s leaders.

    On Feb. 3, 2014, Zawahiri formally disowned ISIS, and later that month, Mr. Zawahiri’s personal emissary to mediate the Syrian struggle was killed by a suicide bomber.

    In June 2014, ISIS changed its name to the Islamic State (period) and declared Baghdadi was a caliph to whom Muslims owed allegiance. He has avoided being photopgraphed, but he appeared in mosque in Mosul in front of a captive audience (many people had been ordered where to atted snd told where to sit) and gave a videotaped sermon in which he pretended to be humble. It was like ascene from a movie maybe. He has not had success in carrying anyone with him, except to a limited degree among members of Hamas. (Hamas by the way disclaimed responsible for the kidnapping – which was really very shortly a murder) of the 3 Yeshiva students in Israel, but IDID did take responsibility for that, and the two wanted men are known to have sometimes operated indeodenently of Hamas)

    Sammy Finkelman (069ee3)

  32. What may be key to what’s going on in Iraq, and in the entire Middle East right now, is the siege of Deir ez Zor on the Euphrates River in eastern Syria.

    Once known as a site where many Armenians were driven to, to starve to death, it is now the biggest city around there in the hands of the non-al-Qaeda linked Syrian rebels.

    It is under siege both from the forces of the caliph Ibrahim and Syria’s President, Bashir Assad, who are in many respects, allies. (it needs to be taken into account that at some point in the not too distant future, like about August, Iran and the Caliph Ibrahim may very well sign a 10-year non-aggression pact, and agree to divide the Middle East between them. The exact boundary between them, however, may remain to be settled. A lot depends on whether Deir ez Zor falls.)

    Back in January, ISIS was in danger of being wiped out as better Syrian rebels were besieging the headquarters of ISIS of Raqqa (also called Ar-Raqqah?) They had already been pretty much forced to abandon Aleppo.

    Assad’s Air Force came to the rescue of ISIS with a big campaign of air raids.

    So long as the siege of Deir ez Zor is going on, and other places in eastern Syria also remain out of their hands, the Islamic state will probably not attempt a major assault on Baghdad or on Jordan, and Hezbollah and the Syrian army will not shoot rockets against Israel. (that’s one reason not to have a ceasefire while Hamas retains rockets)

    TOW missiles could help them. Also, bombing, of course, just like Assad’s bombing helped ISIS, when it was ISIS. The enemy is using American-made Humvees seized in Iraq in Syria.

    Some of the defenders in eastern Syria against mutant al Qaeda are from the al Nusra front = old al al Qaeda, who, if defeated, may defect and join mutant al Qaeda.

    Sammy Finkelman (c33275)

  33. Here is an attempted summary (written March 1, 2014) by someone on the Wikipedia talk page for Inbter revel conflict.

    That said, it’s worth noting that almost all Syrian rebel groups can be placed in one of five categories:

    1) Islamic Front

    2) Free Syrian Army (lately Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi has been using the expression “FSA-banner” in articles on Joshua Landis’s site. That sounds about right to me: influential commanders such as Bashar al-Zoubi and Jamal Maarouf maybe are not meaningfully part of the same organization exactly, but they term themselves FSA; they fight under its banner).

    3) Jabhat an-Nusra

    4) ISIS

    5) Kurdish militias such as the YPG

    So, if we want to be more specific than “anti-ISIL rebels”, it shouldn’t be so hard to specify who did what.

    The Syrian opposition–Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant conflict is essentially a coordinated offensive by #1, #2, and #3 against #4. Although, of course, #5 has been at war with #4 and #3 (as well as parts of #1 and #2) all along.

    To which can be added that the Free Syrian Army is now operating under a different name.

    Sammy Finkelman (c33275)


    The Six Words You Need to Know to Be a Successful Jihadi and Establish Your Own Caliphate

    Sammy Finkelman (c33275)

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