Military Connection: More Troops to Iraq: By Debbie Gregory

The Last U.S. Troop Brigade In Iraq Departs Country After Over Eight Years Of WarThe number of U.S. military personnel in Iraq is set to double, as 1,500 more Americans are being deployed to train Iraq’s forces to combat the Islam State that has seized much of Iraq and Syria.

President Obama has a three-purposed plan to destroy the Islamic State, while keeping Americans from fighting another war, and preventing another insurgent group from surfacing. This plan requires the U.S. military to effectively train the Iraqi forces to liberate and maintain the sovereignty of their own country, without fighting their battles for them.

Along with the additional personnel, the president is requesting an additional $5.6 billion from Congress to augment the Pentagon’s Overseas Contingency Operations account. Around $3.4 billion of that would go to pay for the cost of operations against the Islamic State, and approximately $1.6 billion would directly support the mission of training and equipping Iraq’s security forces.

The additional personnel are expected to be sent in two waves. The first wave will be used to support and expand the mission to advise and assist Iraq’s security force. The second wave will be used to start training Iraqi soldiers at locations around the country.

The bulk of the additional 1,500 personnel being sent to Iraq will come from the Army.

On November 13, 2014, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army General Martin Dempsey, told Congress that he believes Iraq will need around 80,000 well trained, competent fighters to retake and hold the lands currently controlled by the Islamic State. Dempsey recommended that the addition of more American advisors should include training centers to facilitate the training of Iraq’s security force.

It is the hope of President Obama, as well as U.S. military leaders, that once training facilities and programs are in place in Iraq, other coalition members will take over some of the training duties. This would allow the U.S. to decrease its force size in Iraq, even if the war against the Islamic State is still in progress.

Already, Denmark has agreed to send military advisors and F-16’s to Iraq. Norway has also agreed to send 120 troops to serve as advisors in Iraq.

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Military Connection: More Troops to Iraq: By Debbie Gregory