U.S. sends 300 more troops to Iraq over security concerns

WASHINGTON Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:33pm EDT

Iraqi security forces fire artillery during clashes with Sunni militant group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on the outskirts of the town of Udaim in Diyala province, June 22, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

Iraqi security forces fire artillery during clashes with Sunni militant group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on the outskirts of the town of Udaim in Diyala province, June 22, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is ramping up its military presence in Iraq, deploying around 300 additional troops as well as helicopters and drone aircraft in response security concerns in Baghdad, officials said on Monday.

The decision announced by the Pentagon puts U.S. military personnel in a security role at Baghdad International Airport in the face of advances by an al Qaeda splinter group, three years after America's military withdrawal.

As speculation swirls about whether President Barack Obama might authorize U.S. air strikes, a U.S. defense official said the moves were primarily focused protection of American personnel in Iraq, including civilians.

"This is not about (preparations) toward air strikes," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Pentagon said about 200 forces arrived on Sunday in Iraq to reinforce security at the U.S. embassy, its support facilities and Baghdad International Airport.

Another 100 personnel arrived in Iraq and many would be stationed at the airport, the official said.

"I think there's an appropriate level of concern about the airport," the official said, noting it was a vital transportation hub.

The Pentagon said a small number of helicopters and drone aircraft were also being deployed to Iraq.

The forces are in addition up to 300 military advisors that Obama authorized to be deployed to Iraq partly to set up two joint operations centers. They also will assess how the United States might provide additional support. About 180 of those advisers are already in Iraq.

The troop movements are part of the Obama administration's attempt to help Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's push back militants from the Islamic State in Syria and the Levant (ISIL), who have made stunning advances over the last few weeks.

Another U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the United States was also considering putting up a new joint military operations center in the northwest of Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region. While no final decisions have been made, the official said the new operations center, which would be the second the United States has established since Iraq's security deteriorated earlier this month, could be placed in the province of Duhok, in Iraq's farthest northern reaches near Syria and Turkey.

U.S. forces at a similar joint operations center in Baghdad are gathering information about the situation on the ground and overseeing U.S. forces who are taking stock of the Iraqi military in the field.

It was not immediately clear whether U.S. forces at the new joint operations center would be working primarily with the Peshemerga, the Kurdish forces that have long protected Iraq's Kurdish enclave, or whether forces from the Iraqi military commanded from Baghdad would be involved.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Sandra Maler, Bernard Orr, Toni Reinhold)

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Comments (3)
carlmartel wrote:
It appears that the US may be preparing a bigger campaign. I hope the Obama regime keeps it to precision air strikes against Caliphate vehicles with troops in them. If we’re going to kill these people, we might as well call them the name that they want to be called before they die. Their name won’t make them bullet proof. I have pointed out that we halted most of Iraq’s vehicular traffic in 1991, and we can do something similar to the Caliphate today because it is smaller to match our smaller resources. We need satellites, Global Hawk drones, Reaper drones, FA-18′s from 2 super carriers, and the most current precision guided munitions. The aim is to put Caliphate forces ON FOOT in the 130 degree heat of Iraq’s summer carrying all supplies including food, water, weapons, munitions, and all other supplies. That should slow them down and make them excellent targets for Iraqi helicopter gunships, tanks, and artillery.

Jun 30, 2014 6:10pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
300 + 300 = 600 troops plus, as American military experiences generally go, another 600 in a couple of weeks to bring the total to 1,200 troops which will then be doubled and then doubled and then doubled and so on.
The US Has Invaded 70 Nations Since 1776 – 
Make 4 July Independence From America Day
By Dr Gideon Polya
05 July, 2013
Countercurrents.org
The 4th of July is Independence Day for the United States of America and commemorates the 4 July 1776 Declaration of Independence for America, the key passage of which is “ We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ” Unfortunately American racism has grossly violated the proposition that “all men are created equal” and the worst form of racism involves invasion of other countries. The US has invaded about 70 countries since its inception and has invaded a total of about 50 countries since 1945 [1]. The World needs to declare a transition from the 4th of July as Independence for America Day to the 4th of July as Independence from America Day.
The following is a list of countries invaded by the US forces  (naval, military and ultimately air forces) since its inception in order of major incidents. This catalogue derives heavily form the work of US academic Dr Zoltan Grossman’s article “From Wounded Knee to Libya : a century of U.S. military interventions”   [1], Gideon Polya’s book ‘Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (that includes a brief history of all countries since Neolithic times) [2] and William Blum’s book “ Rogue State ” [3]. This list includes instances of violent deployment of US forces within America (e.g. against demonstrators, miners etc), and includes small-scale bombing and military intervention operations, military evacuations of Americans and specific instances of explicit threats of use of nuclear weapons. The list does not include the 1801-1805 US Marine Barbary War operations against Barbary pirates based in Morocco , Algeria , Tunisia and Libya , and also ignores massive US subversion of virtually all countries in the world.
(1) American Indian nations (1776 onwards, American Indian Genocide; 1803, Louisiana Purchase; 1844, Indians banned from east of the Mississippi; 1861 onwards, California genocide; 1890, Lakota Indians massacre), (2) Mexico (1836-1846; 1913; 1914-1918; 1923), (3) Nicaragua (1856-1857; 1894; 1896; 1898; 1899; 1907; 1910; 1912-1933; 1981-1990), (4) American forces deployed against Americans (1861-1865, Civil War; 1892; 1894; 1898; 1899-1901; 1901; 1914; 1915; 1920-1921; 1932; 1943; 1967; 1968; 1970; 1973; 1992; 2001), (5), Argentina (1890), (6), Chile (1891; 1973), (7) Haiti (1891; 1914-1934; 1994; 2004-2005), (8) Hawaii (1893-), (9) China (1895-1895; 1898-1900; 1911-1941; 1922-1927; 1927-1934; 1948-1949; 1951-1953; 1958), (10) Korea (1894-1896; 1904-1905; 1951-1953), (11) Panama (1895; 1901-1914; 1908; 1912; 1918-1920; 1925; 1958; 1964; 1989-), (12) Philippines (1898-1910; 1948-1954; 1989; 2002-), (13) Cuba (1898-1902; 1906-1909; 1912; 1917-1933; 1961; 1962), (14) Puerto Rico (1898-; 1950; ); (15) Guam (1898-), (16) Samoa (1899-), (17) Honduras (1903; 1907; 1911; 1912; 1919; 1924-1925; 1983-1989), (18) Dominican Republic (1903-1904; 1914; 1916-1924; 1965-1966),  (19) Germany (1917-1918; 1941-1945; 1948; 1961), (20) Russia (1918-1922), (21) Yugoslavia (1919; 1946; 1992-1994; 1999), (22) Guatemala (1920; 1954; 1966-1967), (23) Turkey (1922), (24) El Salvador (1932; 1981-1992),  (25) Italy (1941-1945); (26) Morocco (1941-1945), (27) France (1941-1945), (28) Algeria (1941-1945), (29) Tunisia (1941-1945), (30) Libya (1941-1945; 1981; 1986;  1989; 2011), (31) Egypt (1941-1945; 1956; 1967; 1973; 2013), (32) India (1941-1945),  (33) Burma (1941-1945), (34) Micronesia (1941-1945), (35) Papua New Guinea (1941-1945), (36) Vanuatu (1941-1945), (37) Austria (1941-1945), (38) Hungary (1941-1945), (39) Japan (1941-1945), (40) Iran (1946; 1953; 1980; 1984; 1987-1988; ), (41) Uruguay (1947), (42) Greece (1947-1949), (43) Vietnam (1954; 1960-1975), (44) Lebanon (1958; 1982-1984), (45) Iraq (1958; 1963; 1990-1991; 1990-2003; 1998; 2003-2011),  (46) Laos (1962-), (47) Indonesia (1965), (48) Cambodia (1969-1975; 1975), (49) Oman (1970), (50) Laos (1971-1973),  (51) Angola (1976-1992), (52) Grenada (1983-1984), (53) Bolivia (1986; ), (54) Virgin Islands (1989), (55) Liberia (1990; 1997; 2003), (56) Saudi Arabia (1990-1991), (57) Kuwait (1991), (58) Somalia (1992-1994; 2006), (59) Bosnia (1993-), (60) Zaire (Congo) (1996-1997), (61) Albania (1997), (62) Sudan (1998), (63) Afghanistan (1998;  2001-), (64) Yemen (2000; 2002-), (65) Macedonia (2001),  (66) Colombia (2002-), (67)  Pakistan (2005-), (68) Syria (2008; 2011-), (69) Uganda (2011), (70) Mali (2013), (71) Niger (2013).
The human cost of these US interventions has been horrendous. A major component of war- or hegemony-related deaths is represented by avoidable deaths from violently-imposed deprivation. Since 1950 the UN has provided detailed demographic data that have permitted calculation of such avoidable deaths, year by year, for every country in the world. 1950-2005 avoidable deaths total 1.3 billion for the whole world, 1.2 billion for the non-European world and 0.6 billion for the Muslim world [2], the latter carnage being 100 times greater than the WW2 Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million Jews killed, 1 in 6 dying from deprivation) [4, 5} or the “forgotten” WW2 Bengali Holocaust in which the British with Australian complicity deliberately starved 6-7 million Indians to death for strategic reasons [6].  Currently 18 million people die avoidably each year in the Developing World on Spaceship Earth with the US in charge of the flight deck.
Here is a summary of post-1950 avoidable mortality/ 2005 population (both in millions, m) and expressed as a percentage (%) for each country occupied by the US in the post-1945 era. The asterisk (*) indicates a major occupation by more than one country in the post-WW2 era (thus, for example,  the UK and the US have been major occupiers of Afghanistan , Iraq and Korea , leaving aside the many other minor participants in these conflicts). Data is also given for the US: US [8.455m/300.038m = 2.8%],  Afghanistan* [16.609m/25.971m = 64.0%], Cambodia* [5.852m/14.825m = 39.5%], Dominican Republic [0.806m/8.998m = 9.0%], Federated States of Micronesia [0.016m/0.111m = 14.4%], Greece* [0.027m/10.978m = 0.2%], Grenada* [0.018m/0.121m = 14.9%], Guam [0.005m/0.168m = 3.0%], Haiti* [4.089m/8.549m = 47.9%], Iraq* [5.283m/26.555m = 19.9%], Korea* [7.958m/71.058m = 11.2%], Laos* [2.653m/5.918m = 44.8%], Panama [0.172m/3.235m = 5.3%], Philippines [9.080m/82.809m = 11.0%], Puerto Rico [0.039m/3.915m = 1.0%], Somalia* [5.568m/10.742m = 51.8%], US Virgin Islands [0.003m/0.113m = 2.4%], Vietnam* [24.015m/83.585m = 28.7%], total = 82.193m/357.651m = 23.0%.
Thus in the period 1950-2005 there have been 82 million avoidable deaths from deprivation (avoidable mortality, excess deaths, excess mortality , deaths that did not have to happen) associated with countries  occupied by the US in the post-1945 era. However the US has subcontracted a huge amount of violence to nuclear terrorist, democracy-by-genocide, racist Zionist-run Apartheid Israel for which the related data is as follows: Apartheid Israel [0.095m/6.685m =1.4%] – Egypt* [19.818m/74.878m = 26.5%], Jordan* [0.630m/5.750m = 11.0%], Lebanon [0.535m/3.761m = 14.2%], Occupied Palestinian Territories* [0.677m/3.815m = 17.7%], Syria* [2.198m/18.650m = 11.8%], total = 23.858m/106.854 = 22.3% i.e. Apartheid Israeli aggression has been associated in 1950-2005 with 24 million avoidable deaths in the countries  it has violently  occupied, a carnage similar to that caused by the German Nazis in Russia duringWW2.
Except for the Global Avoidable Mortality Holocaust of over 1.3 billion avoidable deaths since 1950 and 18 million avoidable deaths per year, the above analysis does not take into account US subversion of virtually every country on earth. One visible expression of this subversion is the presence of US forces in hundreds of bases around the world. Thus the Saudi Arabia-occupied Bahrain dictatorship is not listed above but is a major base for the US Navy.     
According to Canadian geographer Professor Jules Dufour : “The US has established its control over 191 governments which are members of the United Nations. The conquest, occupation and/or otherwise supervision of these various regions of the World is supported by an integrated network of military bases and installations which covers the entire Planet (Continents, Oceans and Outer Space). All this pertains to the workings of  an extensive Empire, the exact dimensions of which are not always easy to ascertain. The main sources of information on these military installations (e.g. C. Johnson, the NATO Watch Committee, the International Network for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases) reveal that the US operates and/or controls between 700 and 800 military bases Worldwide…In this regard, Hugh d’Andrade and Bob Wing’s 2002 Map 1 entitled “ U.S. Military Troops and Bases around the World, The Cost of ‘Permanent War’ ”, confirms the presence of US military personnel in 156 countries. The US Military has bases in 63 countries. Brand new military bases have been built since September 11, 2001 in seven countries. In total, there are 255,065 US military personnel deployed Worldwide. These facilities include a total of 845,441 different buildings and equipments. The underlying land surface is of the order of 30 million acres. According to Gelman, who examined 2005 official Pentagon data, the US is thought to own a total of 737 bases in foreign lands. Adding to the bases inside U.S. territory, the total land area occupied by US military bases domestically within the US and internationally is of the order of 2,202,735 hectares, which makes the Pentagon one of the largest landowners worldwide (Gelman, J., 2007).” [7].

Jun 30, 2014 9:04pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
BajaK wrote:
Funny that we are not hearing anything about private contractors…mercenaries…but just about “troops”.

Jul 02, 2014 12:39pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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