11:21 GMT +306 December 2016
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    President Barack Obama, accompanied by, from left, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Vice President Joe Biden, speaks about Afghanistan.

    Pentagon Said US to Increase Iraq Troop Presence, but Forgot to Tell Obama

    © AP Photo/ Pablo Martinez Monsivais
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    Friday the Pentagon sent mixed messages regarding the possibility of an increase in US forces to combat Daesh in Iraq only days after revelations the Defense Department was underreporting the current troop presence in Iraq.

    The announcement comes after revelations this week that the US currently has several hundred more combat troops in Iraq than the officially reported statistics of 3,800. The underreporting was discovered after a marine was killed on Saturday when Daesh forces launched a rocket at a previously undisclosed Marine outpost in Northern Iraq.

    In the news conference, Defense Secretary Ash Carter also confirmed that US forces killed Daesh’s finance minister along with two other enemy combatants during a US raid inside of Syria. Secretary Carter boasted, "We are systematically eliminating ISIL’s cabinet."

    General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff followed Ash Carter’s statements commenting that recommendations on ways to increase US support for Iraq’s ground fight against Daesh were going to be discussed with President Obama over the weekend.

    In General Dunford’s statement to the Pentagon press corps, he noted that while it was the position of the Pentagon that a troop surge would be necessary to combat Daesh, the White House has yet to actually approve such a measure.  "The secretary and I both believe that there will be an increase in US forces in Iraq in coming weeks, but that decision hasn’t been made," said General Dunford.

    General Dunford’s comments on progress against Daesh were also more measured than that of the Secretary. The General remarked that there has been "indisputable progress" against Daesh in recent weeks through coalition airstrikes targeting the group’s leaders, command and control structure, and financing. However, he restrained optimism noting, "by no means would I say that we are about to break the back of ISIL or that the fight is over."

    Secretary Carter, by contrast, sees the US approaching a positive tipping point in the conflict against Daesh commenting that, “The removal of this ISIL leader will hamper the organization’s ability to conduct operations both inside and outside Iraq and Syria.”

    The question before President Obama now is whether a troop surge is necessary to finish the job of eradicating Daesh or if the current strategy of airstrikes and containment remain more appropriate.

    Related:

    Trump: US Will Fight ‘Quick’ War Against Daesh
    Daesh Begins Counteroffensive Against Syrian Army in Palmyra - Commander
    US Defense Chief Confirms Death of Senior Daesh Leader Haji Imam
    US to Make ‘Huge Dent’ in Daesh in 2016 - Kerry
    Tags:
    Brussels attacks, Brussels, San Bernardino, Paris attacks, Terrorism, terror attacks, terror, additional troops, US troop withdrawal, troop withdrawal, troop reductions, troop surge, Daesh, US Department of Defense (DoD), Pentagon, White House, Ashton Carter, Joseph Dunford, Joseph Biden, Barack Obama, Iraq, United States
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    • siberianhusky
      Anybody in charge of the funny farm in Washington?
    • Mitach2002
      The pentagoons running the pentagon have considered themselves beyond the dictates of the president of America. They have been that way for years.
      They continually lie to the commander and chief in order that their wishes be carried out. The pentagoons need and want war. War war war. Peace is extremely harmful to pentagoons.
    • FlorianGeyer
      I would have thought that the 1st things that the US need to do to defeat DAESH is to cut off the supplies from TURKEY,Saudi Arabia ,Qatar etc ( whoops, I nearly forgot the CIA as well ) and also cut and interdict the oil pipeline near Cizre and the oil route to Turkey from Mosul.
    • tonyw247
      they will probably go for a troop surge...not for the reason of defeating daesh but to make sure they have a form grip on Syria once the fighting stops. Assad is still the american target...It is so hard to find something nice to say about american politics. I will just give up looking for one
    • cast235
      Pentagon was at CNN, exclaiming that it was the efforts of Pentagon and Obama's air force that are seeing Palmyra etc liberated, and peace restored in Syria. Unless I was too sleepy, when I heard it. Forgot the show name.. I was sleeping anyways and overheard that . I opened teh eyes and there they were.
      I even wondered why was on and that channel. Hmm.
    • michael
      I've heard of the saying; a lame duck presidency, but this goes a little beyond...maybe into hunting season? :)
    • siberianhusky
      Looking at this picture show me that Hollywood has a new comedy act in the making.
      We now have the 4 stooges looking at this picture.
      We had Larry, Curly and Mo. What do we now call this 4th guy.
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