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Pentagon Warns GOPs Calls for Escalation in Syria Would Lead to 'Apocalyptic War'


December 11, 2015
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com

Facing growing calls from Congressional hawks to escalate the war against ISIS with a dramatic increase in the number of ground troops, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said that ISIS "would love nothing more than a large presence of US forces" on the ground inside Syria. The Pentagon derided Sen. Ted Cruz's calls to "carpet bomb" ISIS into oblivion warning that such a strategy would feed ISIS' narrative for an "apocalyptic war with the West."

http://news.antiwar.com/2015/12/09/defense-secretary-isis-would-love-large-us-ground-presence/

Defense Secretary:
ISIS Would Love Large US Ground Presence

Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com

(December 9, 2015) -- Facing growing calls from Congressional hawks to escalate the war against ISIS with a dramatic increase in the number of ground troops, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter defended the current strategy of sending primarily special forces, insisting the US can't "substitute" for a local force fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Carter added that ISIS "would love nothing more than a large presence of US forces," saying it would not only greatly help ISIS recruitment, but that the US "could well turn those fighting ISIS or inclined to resist their rule into fighting us instead."

Indeed, the US has already been risking that with its recent escalation of special forces units, with some Iraqi Shi'ite militias talking about changing their focus from fighting ISIS to resisting the return of US troops who occupied the country for so many years.

In Syria, the US options for sending more troops are even more limited, as apart from a Kurdish faction in the far northeast there are few US "allies" with any meaningful territory to be deployed into, and the US continues to resist any coordination with the Syrian government itself.



Pentagon Blasts Ted Cruz's Proposals That
Would Lead to 'Apocalyptic War'

Warns Against Indiscriminate Attacks on ISIS Territory

Jason Ditz, / AntiWar.com

(December 09, 2015) -- Testifying to the Senate Armed Services Committee today, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Paul Selva rejected Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz's (R - TX) recent calls to "carpet bomb" ISIS into oblivion.

Sen. Cruz made the comments at a weekend campaign visit to Iowa, vowing to find out "if sand can glow in the dark." Sen. Claire McCaskill (D - MO) pressed Gen. Selva for his take on the proposal, prefacing it with concerns about civilian casualties in such an attack.

Gen. Selva appeared to concur, saying the strategy would feed ISIS' narrative on an "apocalyptic war with the West," saying such calls run counter to America's national security interest and that the US military does not now, and will not in the future, engage in carpet bombings.

This is the second time in as many days the Pentagon has faulted a presidential candidate's policy suggestions, though in this case it was prompted by questions from Sen. McCaskill.

Yesterday, the Pentagon criticized Donald Trump's call to ban Muslims from the United States on similar grounds, warning it played into ISIS' recruitment message of the US being at war with Islam as a whole.


Iraq Downplays Dispute, But Militias
Threaten to Confront Turkish Forces

Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com

(December 9, 2015) -- Iraq has approached the UN Security Council and NATO over last Friday's incursion of Turkish troops into the Nineveh Province, but officials tried to downplay the dispute, saying they believe bilateral talks with Turkey will ultimately resolve the situation.

Shi'ite militias backing the Iraqi government don't seem to be on the same page, however, with some threatening direct attacks on the Turkish troops, and the largest, the Badr Brigade, vowing the unwelcome forces "will pay dearly because of Turkish arrogance."

In practice, the Shi'ite militias are nowhere near the Turkish troops, so near-term clashes are unlikely, but it does reflect an atmosphere of growing mistrust between the two sides in the ISIS battle, not to mention the struggles by the central government to get pre-approval over military deployments into Iraq.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insists that the troops were approved by the Iraqi government back in 2014, though the Iraqi government denies this. Several hundred new troops arrived Friday, which began the dispute, though troops were already in Nineveh on a training operation before this.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

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