In 2014 Obama promised that as part of the US war against ISIS, there would be “no ground troops in Iraq.” Moments ago U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter gave the latest confirmation that Obama was not being exactly “honest”, when during a visit to Baghdad in which he met U.S. commanders, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, and Iraqi Defence Minister Khaled al-Obeidi, he announced that the US would send another 200 additional ground troops, raising the number of U.S. troops in Iraq to about 4,100.
This follows a report two weeks ago according to which the US would “greatly increase” the number of special forces deployed to Syria under the same pretext: to fight the same Islamic State, which only exists due to a CIA operation to destabilize and overthrow Assad’s regime in Syria.
To be sure, the incremental deployment to Iraq is not exactly surprising: at the end of March, the Daily Beast reported that as many as 21 generals have been deployed (to a war the US denies fighting).
There are at least 12 U.S. generals in Iraq, a stunningly high number for a war that, if you believe the White House talking points, doesn’t involve American troops in combat. And that number is, if anything, a conservative estimate, not taking into account the flag officers running the U.S. air war, the admirals helping wage the war from the sea, or their superiors back at the Pentagon.
At U.S. headquarters inside Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone, even majors and colonels frequently find themselves saluting superiors at a pace that outranks the Pentagon and certainly any normal military installation. With about 5,000 troops deployed to Iraq and Syria ISIS war, that means there’s a general for every 416 troops, give or take. To compare, there are some captains in the U.S. Army in charge of that many people. You knew the troops would be coming soon.
Sure enough, this is precisely what happened.