News / Middle East

Obama Challenged to Avoid Mission Creep in Iraq

Obama Faced With Prospect of Mission Creep in Iraqi
X
Luis Ramirez
June 25, 2014 12:40 AM
As the U.S. deploys hundreds of American troops to deal with the Iraqi crisis, the Obama administration is facing tough questions on whether the mission will inevitably evolve into a renewed, full-fledged involvement in the country. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
VIDEO: As the U.S. deploys hundreds of American troops to deal with the Iraqi crisis, the Obama administration is facing tough questions on whether the mission will inevitably evolve into a renewed, full-fledged involvement in the country. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Luis Ramirez
As the U.S. deploys hundreds of American troops to deal with the Iraqi crisis, the Obama administration is facing tough questions on whether the mission will inevitably evolve into a renewed, full-fledged involvement in the country.

With Sunni rebels consolidating control of more towns, there are questions about whether the deployment of up to 300 military advisers may be too little, too late.

President Obama dispatched Secretary of State John Kerry to Iraq this week to push for unity against the Islamist insurgents — and an Iraqi solution.

The U.S. troops are meant to give the Iraqi government the support it needs to put down the insurgency.

“This administration does believe that there is time for Iraq's political leaders to make the necessary decisions that will unify the country to confront the terrorist threat, the extremist threat that they're facing in Iraq right now," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

In addition to the combat-ready military advisers, the president has ordered up to 275 troops to safeguard the U.S. Embassy and other American interests in the country.

The job of the U.S. advisers is to assess the capabilities of an Iraqi military troubled by desertions and weak morale.

It may be difficult for the administration to keep troop numbers low, says Julian Zelizer, a political history professor at Princeton, via Skype.

"Once you send 300 people there at a minimum, if they recommend the need for more it's hard for the president to then ignore the very people he sent to find out what should be done," he said.

Past conflicts like those in Vietnam and Korea, he added, have shown how small deployments can become the opening wedge for much bigger operations.

"Each time the mission gets bigger, the involvement gets bigger," he said. "It's very difficult to contain these situations.”

In Iraq, where the situation is growing more fragile, and where the U.S. has already invested deeply, the challenge to limit involvement is perhaps even greater.

You May Like

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

Video Kenyans Lament Al-Shabab's Recruitment of Youths

VOA travels to Isiolo, where residents share their fears, struggles to get loved ones back from Somalia-based militant group More

This US Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

One in 4 Americans suffers from this condition More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensionsi
X
May 26, 2015 11:11 PM
When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs