“The Obama administration would consider engaging ISIL forces if the U.S. believes it can make ‘a positive difference…’”
With the Iraqi National Army running away from ISIS faster than the proverbial scalded dog, Barack Obama has made it clear that he has no intentions of committing the hundreds of additional American troops he’s ordered to Iraq to participate in combat operations. Yet as reported by The Washington Times, one of the more senior White House security honchos has been laying out a number of scenarios in which U.S. military personnel would engage in direct contact with the al Qaeda-allied terrorists.
On June 13, 2014, Obama flatly vowed to the American people, “We will not be sending U.S. troops back into combat in Iraq.” Yet, Ben Rhodes Deputy National Security Advisor to the President, gave a number of different synopses to the press in which the hundreds of American forces recently deployed in and around Baghdad would participate in direct combat with the blitzkrieging forces of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant/Syria (ISIS/ISIL).
According to Rhodes, the United States “has a role to play in a number of different ways” that could result in direct combat in Iraq, adding:
I think the threats that we would look to, for instance, would include an evaluation of whether ISIL is posing a threat to U.S. interests that would necessitate our taking action against them, as we have against terrorist organizations in other parts of the region. I think the security and safety of our personnel would certainly be of profound interest to the United States.
Rhodes also made the open-ended statement that “the Obama administration would consider engaging ISIL forces if the U.S. believes it can make ‘a positive difference.’” The definition of “a positive difference” remains open to interpretation.
As reported just days ago by Fox News, the Obama Administration has sent 200 additional troops into Iraq, ostensibly to beef up security for not only the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, but also to provide security for Baghdad International Airport. Other than the permanent detachment of Marines assigned to the embassy’s security, the additional servicemen ordered in-country has been estimated between 600 and 800.