Obama's Iraq Promises May Lead to 'Mission Creep'

Image: Obama's Iraq Promises May Lead to 'Mission Creep' (Dennis Brack/Landov)

Monday, 11 Aug 2014 09:20 AM

By Melanie Batley

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President Barack Obama's decision to launch airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq to assist with the emerging humanitarian crisis could be at odds with his commitment that America will not get entrenched in ground warfare, Politico reported.

The president ordered the intervention after roughly 40,000 religious minorities in Iraq fled up the side of Mount Sinjar amid concerns of an imminent genocide at the hands of ISIS. The U.S. Air Force has been supplying food and water to the refugees through airdrops, while Navy fighters have used drones on the region to keep ISIS at bay.

"If the president were to send in American special operators or airborne troops to help with an evacuation, he'd risk breaking his promise, endure the political blowback from potential casualties and be guilty of the very 'mission creep' that critics have warned about," Politico said.

The president has acknowledged that the next phase of the mission is unclear.

"We feel confident that we can prevent ISIL from going up a mountain and slaughtering the people who are there," Obama said at the White House on Saturday, according to Politico. "But the next step, which is going to be complicated logistically, is how do we give safe passage?"

The Obama administration indicated Sunday that the United States would be arming Kurdish forces to help with the effort on the ground to stop the advance of ISIS.

The president is also working with the British and French regarding the best strategy going forward.

Fighters and drones destroyed several armored vehicles over the weekend, killing a number of ISIL combatants, Politico reported, while American warplanes also attacked and killed ISIL terrorists threatening Erbil.

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