Ashton Carter, US Defense Secretary, has said, again, that the US will need to put more troops in Iraq and Syria in what he called an “enabling” role.
Putting more “boots on the ground” in these areas has been controversial. Carter also said that about 50 U.S. Special Forces troops are currently serving as advisers in Syria. There are also about 3,500 American troops in Iraq who are serving as trainers and advisers to the Iraqi Security Forces.
“We’re not looking to substitute for local forces in terms of governing the place and policing the place. That’s why we put Special Forces in Syria. They’re tremendous force multipliers. They’re the ones who connect them to the great might of our military. The strategic concept is not to substitute but to enable local forces,” Carter said.
Carter also said in meetings in Paris and Switzerland with allied defense officials that US and coalition forces in Iraq would increase “greatly” as the united effort moves forward. The main focus, Carter reported, will be on fighting ISIS in both Iraq and Syria. “We need to destroy them in those two places, and I’d like to get on with that as soon as possible,” Carter said.
According to Army Col. Steve Warren, chief spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, “We don’t have a solid number yet on how many additional troops will be deployed as trainers to join the estimated 3,550 U.S. troops now on the ground in Iraq. It’s certainly hundreds that will probably be at the top end, not thousands, hundreds.”
In what some see as a nudge aimed at allied partners, Carter wrote in a Politico editorial: “We are gathering momentum on a number of fronts and are determined to put ISIL on an irreversible path to lasting defeat. Now is the time to do even more. As we accelerate our campaign, so must every one of our coalition partners.”
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.