U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jodi Martinez
President Barack Obama’s decision on Oct. 31 to send up to 50 special operators to Syria marks a significant escalation in the campaign against the Islamic State, but it may not be enough.
Mike Rogers of CNN explains how the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command employed special operations forces to great effect in Iraq in the mid 2000s. The reason for this, argues Rogers, is that special operations forces and their commanders had the full support of the Iraqi government; the U.S. controlled the battlespace where they operated; and there was sizeable local support for the mission.
However, in Syria, none of these conditions exist. Special operations forces would be conducting missions in contested space and while there’s significant resentment toward the Islamic State and the Assad regime, that’s not the same as support for the U.S. mission.
The Coast Guard is officially shit outta luck for a paycheck thanks to the government shutdown, which means that zero coasties have been paid to create some of the amazing memes being shared as a way to vent their frustration.
Vice President Mike Pence repeated President Donald Trump's claim that "ISIS has been defeated" in Syria on Wednesday just hours after several U.S. service members were killed by an ISIS suicide bomber in Manbij, Syria.