Well, President “Stop Endless Wars” is all set to deploy 3,000 US troops to the Mideast in the wake of the extraordinarily brazen assassination of Qassem Soleimani.
The new troops will join the 700 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne who deployed to Kuwait earlier this week following violent protests at the US Embassy in Baghdad, where demonstrators set fires and shouted “Death to America” following airstrikes on Kataib Hezbollah.
The incident at the embassy tipped the scales in favor of the White House’s decision to kill the commander in a drone strike. The US tracked Soleimani’s plane as it made its way from Syria to Iraq. At the airport in Baghdad, he joined a convoy that included Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Seconds later, an MQ-9 Reaper closed his curtains.
Now, an already volatile situation has been made immeasurably more so, and in recognition of that, the US is putting thousands more boots on the ground and thereby American lives at risk.
Apparently, it takes 3,700 American infantry to counter Soleimani even as his battlefield capabilities are presumably constrained by virtue of his being dead.
“The dispatching of extra troops reflects concern about potential Iranian retaliatory action”, AP said Friday, adding the following:
In his calls with the British and German foreign ministers as well as China’s state councilor, Mike Pompeo stressed that Trump acted to counter an imminent threat to U.S. lives in the region but also that the U.S. is committed to “de-escalation” of tensions, according to the department’s summaries of the conversations.
De-escalation was not mentioned in the department’s summary of his call with the French foreign minister, nor in his calls with Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani or the Pakistani military chief of staff. In those calls Pompeo “underscored the Iranian regime’s destabilizing actions through the region and the Trump Administration’s resolve in protecting American interests, personnel, facilities and partners,” the department said.
There are already unconfirmed reports of ballistic missiles hitting a US base in Iraq.
Trump – whose campaign revolved in part around a promise to extricate America from costly foreign imbroglios – has now committed a total of 17,300 new troops to the Mideast since taking office.
Despite his professed disdain for the conflict in Iraq, the assassination of Soleimani virtually guarantees the US will not be able to leave the country at least until Trump is out of the Oval Office.