Nancy Youssef reports: In the war against the self-proclaimed Islamic State, the U.S. military is notably short on soldiers, but apparently not on generals.
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.
Moreover, many of those generals come with staffs and bureaucracy that some argue slows decision-making against an agile terror group.
The Obama administration has frequently argued that the U.S. maintains a so-called light footprint in Iraq to reassure the American public that its military is not back in Iraq. Indeed, at times, the United States has not acknowledged where it has deployed troops until one of them died.
But if the U.S. footprint is so small, why does the war demand so many generals? [Continue reading…]
In an editorial, the New York Times says: With the military campaign against the Islamic State making some progress, American officials have begun to sharpen plans to expel the terrorist organization from two major cities it still controls.
Recapturing Raqqa, in northern Syria, and Mosul, in northern Iraq, from the Islamic State is critical. But President Obama has not made the case for expanding America’s role in the fighting, nor has he given a forthright assessment of the resources that would be required.
Since Mr. Obama authorized the first airstrikes in Iraq and Syria in 2014 to curb the rise of the Islamic State, administration officials have been vague and at times disingenuous about the evolution of a military campaign that has escalated sharply. [Continue reading…]