IST’s US Troops Report

I try to keep my readers up to date on the happenings with our troops deployed overseas…..I feel that since most blogs ignore them it was the least I could do.

First, more good news….(that’s sarcasm)…..

With officials saying that the planned invasion of the city of Mosul could begin as soon as October, the Pentagon is once again requesting more US ground troops be deployed into the area around the city, The Pentagon has already deployed several hundred troops multiple times in the last two months on the same basis.

The Pentagon is seeking another 500 “permanent” US troops in Iraq, which would bring the official figure in the country to 4,900. In practice, the Pentagon already is believed to have in excess of 6,000 troops in Iraq, but labels many of them “temporary” and doesn’t count them, despite their deployments not having any specific end date.

The new deployment, as with the previous few, would have the troops sent to Qayara Air Base, which Iraqi forces occupied back in July. Despite presenting the capture of the base as a great military victory, ISIS had abandoned it long ago, and the hundreds of US troops already there are mostly just helping fix the damage of years of US airstrikes on the base.

Has anyone bothered to ask the troops what they think of all this nation building and interventionism?

Why yes they have!

A majority of active-duty troops stringently oppose nation-building efforts abroad, according to a new poll, preferring instead that the military focus on doing what it does best: killing terrorists and keeping the homeland safe.

Commissioned by Military Times and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, the poll found that 55 percent of respondents either “strongly” or “somewhat” oppose “the U.S. government’s continued involvement in nation-building efforts, establishing democracies in the Middle East and North Africa using U.S. military and financial support.”

Just 23 percent responded positively to the idea of using troops to continue a mission of nation-building around the world for the purpose of setting up democracies.

But it is still the number one task being asked of our troops…..is anyone listening?
We hear some good reports about our adventure in nation building in the last 15 years…Afghanistan…..but just how glowing is our time in country?
US commander Gen. John Nicholson today reported that Afghanistan’s government has lost control of about a third of the country’s overall territory, with the Taliban having claimed over 10%, and at least 20% of other territory in a “contested” state.

Nicholson reported heavy fighting, mounting casualties, and up to 1,300 ISIS fighters in Afghanistan, receiving direct aid and guidance from the leadership in Syria. Incredibly, he presented the overall situation as a “positive” one, noting that the Afghan government still controls the majority of the population, and all the biggest cities.

Still, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joe Dunford described Afghanistan as “stalemated” in his own remarks to the Senate, and while Nicholson tried to put a more positive spin on it having reached “equilibrium,” that’s 15 solid years of upbeat Pentagon assessments that have left the Taliban in control of more territory than at any time since the war began, and no realistic possibility of an end.

Forgive my sarcasm but I feel that any American deployment of troops should get more coverage than the media is willing to provide.

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