The White House announced the deployment of 450 new U.S. military troops to Iraq with the possibility of building a new military base. The U.S. is considering building more military bases in Iraq to help drive back Islamic militants. Although there are currently 3,100 troops in Iraq, the peak troop strength in Iraq was 170,000 troops under President George Bush.
According to Army General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the U.S. military wants to build a hub at the Taqaddum military base about 15 miles (25 km) from Ramadi. As stated in Reuters, the General said it was part of “prudent planning” although he didn’t see it happening soon.
“It’s very practical (planning), looking at geographic locations, road networks, airfields, places where we can actually establish these hubs. But I could conceive of one potentially somewhere in the corridor that runs from Baghdad to Tikrit to Kirkuk and over into Mosul. So we’re looking at that area.”
One White House spokesman stated that if the president gets a recommendation, he will take a look at it. However, another White House spokesman stated there are no current plans to build any more bases in Iraq. Officials did say that the president was open to expanding the U.S. military presence in Iraq by building a network of bases and sending hundreds of troops to support the Iraqi security forces who were fighting ISIS, according to the New York Times.
President Obama said that the new troops would not engage in combat in Iraq. The U.S. military has relied heavily on an air campaign that officials say has killed thousands of Islamic militants. According to the White House, this is part of the president’s overall Iraq strategy.
As previously reported in Inquisitr, Al Quaeda has been nearly destroyed because of ISIS. General Dempsey stated the U.S. military has future plans to add spotters to the Iraqi forces to help call in air strikes, but the preparations are not quite in place.
U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno had a different opinion of a massive troop buildup in Iraq. Although he believes that a massive U.S. military buildup would defeat ISIS, the Iraqi government needed to change course in order to avoid a repeat of the ISIS threat.
The General said that a change in strategy needs to take place and Arab communities need to step up to help solve the problem. While 75 of the new U.S. military troops will focus on training Iraqi Security forces, the rest will provide security, CBS News reports.
What do you think of the U.S. military and White House strategy to defeat ISIS?
[Photo Credit RT]