Trump administration stops revealing troop deployments in Iraq and Syria

 

 

Even as the US military takes on a greater role in the war in Iraq and Syria, the Trump administration has stopped disclosing significant information about the size and nature of the US commitment, including the number of US troops deployed in either country.

Earlier this month, the Pentagon quietly dispatched 400 Marines to northern Syria to operate artillery in support of Syrian militias that are cooperating in the fight against Islamic State, according to US officials. That was the first use of US Marines in that country since its long civil war began.

In Iraq, nearly 300 Army paratroopers were deployed recently to help the Iraqi military in their six-month assault on the city of Mosul, according to US officials.

Neither of those deployments was announced once they had been made, a departure from the practice of the Obama administration, which announced almost all conventional force deployments.

The decision appears to be making good on Trump’s promise as a candidate to insist on more of an “element of surprise” in battle tactics.

“In order to maintain tactical surprise, ensure operational security and force protection, the coalition will not routinely announce or confirm information about the capabilities, force numbers, locations, or movement of forces in or out of Iraq and Syria,” said Eric Pahon, A Pentagon spokesman.

That move deprives the public of information it has a right to know about the wars in which the US is engaging, said Ned Price, National Security Council spokesman under Obama.

“The position of the Obama administration was that the American people had a right to know if servicemen and women were in harm’s way,” he said.

“It’s really shocking that the current administration furtively deploys troops without public debate or describing their larger strategy.”

In addition to the number of troops being larger, American forces are now nearer to the front lines in both Iraq and Syria than they have been since the war against Islamic State began nearly three years ago.

The deployment of Marines to Syria was confirmed for the first time publicly this week by Gen. Joseph Votel, the top commander in the Middle East, in response to a question at a congressional hearing from a member of the House Armed Services committee who asked whether there were additional Americans inside the country.

“They have deployed,” Votel said, adding that there were likely more troops headed for deployment.

Under the Obama administration, Pentagon policy was to announce conventional deployments after they occurred. That administration even took the unusual step of revealing in 2015 that 200 special operations forces – which missions often are classified – had been sent to Syria.

That’s now changed, according to Pentagon officials.

“The coalition commander’s intent is that ISIS be first to know about any additional capabilities the coalition or our partner forces may present them on the battlefield,” Pahon said, using an acronym for Islamic State.

Even when news of a deployment leaks, the officials will confirm only the broad description of the unit size being deployed – such as a brigade, which can be between 3,200 and 4,000 troops.

The military does reveal what’s been dubbed a “force management level” – the number of full-time troops deployed, which is currently about 5,200 in Iraq and 500 in Syria.Pentagon officials acknowledge, however, that the number significantly understates the size of the US troop presence because it does not include troops that are deployed on what the military considers a “temporary basis.”

More than 1,000 troops are currently in the two countries in that status, which applies to troops deployed for less than about six months and security personnel. The count also excludes civil contractors, several thousand of which are in Iraq and Syria.

The Obama administration created and used the force management level in a way that undercounted US forces, although it did announce most deployments.

There were exceptions. Staff Sgt. Louis F. Cardin, 27, of Temecula, died on March 19 2016 after coming under Islamic State rocket fire in northern Iraq. At the time of Cardin’s death, the US military had not disclosed the presence of American troops in the region, raising questions about the Obama administration’s transparency.

Michael E. O’Hanlon, a military analyst at the nonpartisan Brookings Institution in Washington, said limiting statements of incremental deployments could have been justified to avoid giving information to hostile forces.

“Broad contours of an operation should be debated openly, and publicly understood, but specific raids or other modest changes in capabilities and deployments should not be telegraphed in advance,” he said.

But officials of previous administrations said that approach limits debate over military policy.

“Syria is a complicated environment, so if you’re sending Americans in harm’s way over there, people need to know what the overeaching goal is,” said Lawrence Korb, a former assistant secretary of Defense under President Reagan and current fellow at the Center For American Progress Action Fund.

“It’s important to have a public debate,” he said. “Congress must have a role in deciding what happens next, otherwise this is a slippery slope.”

Congress has not debated the additional deployments, and the Trump administration has yet to explain what its longer-term policy is for Iraq or Syria.

In the absence of a specific authorization for use of troops in those two countries, the Pentagon for years has been relying on legal authority granted by Congress in 2001 to combat Al Qaeda and its affiliates. That authorization predated the existence of the Islamic State by more than a decade.

Defense Secretary James N. Mattis told Congress last week that he favored a more specific authorization.

“I think it would be a statement of the American people’s resolve if you did so,” he said.

Some members of Congress have raised concerns about the deployments.

Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.) Told Votel she was concerned that additional deployments might lead to an “expansive, open-ended commitment” in Syria.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said Thursday that a new use of force authorization could be up for debate once the White House settles on its strategy for combating Islamic State.

“They’re developing an ISIS strategy. They sent one to the president a month ago; He has not accepted it. When they finish that, we plan to have hearings on all of these issues, “Corker said. “My guess is after that, we may in fact try and do an AUMF,” he said, referring to an authorization for use of military force.

Sen. Thom Tillis (RN.C.), a member of the Armed Services Committee, said the appetite in Congress has grown for taking a fresh look at the issue.

“The world’s changed a bit,” Tillis said. “The nature of the threat’s changed too.”

That would be an important step, said Sen. Here Udall (DN.M.).

“I do not think it is right for the US military to become involved in the Syrian civil war based on the 9/11 AUMF,” he said. “I voted for that AUMF as a House member. I never imagined that vote being used to justify US ground troops in Syria in the year 2017. And I do not think anyone else who voted in favor of it did either. “

Times staff writer Lisa Mascaro contributed to this article.

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Trump administration stops revealing troop deployments in Iraq and Syria

 

 

Even as the US military takes on a greater role in the war in Iraq and Syria, the Trump administration has stopped disclosing significant information about the size and nature of the US commitment, including the number of US troops deployed in either country.

Earlier this month, the Pentagon quietly dispatched 400 Marines to northern Syria to operate artillery in support of Syrian militias that are cooperating in the fight against Islamic State, according to US officials. That was the first use of US Marines in that country since its long civil war began.

In Iraq, nearly 300 Army paratroopers were deployed recently to help the Iraqi military in their six-month assault on the city of Mosul, according to US officials.

Neither of those deployments was announced once they had been made, a departure from the practice of the Obama administration, which announced almost all conventional force deployments.

The decision appears to be making good on Trump’s promise as a candidate to insist on more of an “element of surprise” in battle tactics.

“In order to maintain tactical surprise, ensure operational security and force protection, the coalition will not routinely announce or confirm information about the capabilities, force numbers, locations, or movement of forces in or out of Iraq and Syria,” said Eric Pahon, A Pentagon spokesman.

That move deprives the public of information it has a right to know about the wars in which the US is engaging, said Ned Price, National Security Council spokesman under Obama.

“The position of the Obama administration was that the American people had a right to know if servicemen and women were in harm’s way,” he said.

“It’s really shocking that the current administration furtively deploys troops without public debate or describing their larger strategy.”

In addition to the number of troops being larger, American forces are now nearer to the front lines in both Iraq and Syria than they have been since the war against Islamic State began nearly three years ago.

The deployment of Marines to Syria was confirmed for the first time publicly this week by Gen. Joseph Votel, the top commander in the Middle East, in response to a question at a congressional hearing from a member of the House Armed Services committee who asked whether there were additional Americans inside the country.

“They have deployed,” Votel said, adding that there were likely more troops headed for deployment.

Under the Obama administration, Pentagon policy was to announce conventional deployments after they occurred. That administration even took the unusual step of revealing in 2015 that 200 special operations forces – which missions often are classified – had been sent to Syria.

That’s now changed, according to Pentagon officials.

“The coalition commander’s intent is that ISIS be first to know about any additional capabilities the coalition or our partner forces may present them on the battlefield,” Pahon said, using an acronym for Islamic State.

Even when news of a deployment leaks, the officials will confirm only the broad description of the unit size being deployed – such as a brigade, which can be between 3,200 and 4,000 troops.

The military does reveal what’s been dubbed a “force management level” – the number of full-time troops deployed, which is currently about 5,200 in Iraq and 500 in Syria.Pentagon officials acknowledge, however, that the number significantly understates the size of the US troop presence because it does not include troops that are deployed on what the military considers a “temporary basis.”

More than 1,000 troops are currently in the two countries in that status, which applies to troops deployed for less than about six months and security personnel. The count also excludes civil contractors, several thousand of which are in Iraq and Syria.

The Obama administration created and used the force management level in a way that undercounted US forces, although it did announce most deployments.

There were exceptions. Staff Sgt. Louis F. Cardin, 27, of Temecula, died on March 19 2016 after coming under Islamic State rocket fire in northern Iraq. At the time of Cardin’s death, the US military had not disclosed the presence of American troops in the region, raising questions about the Obama administration’s transparency.

Michael E. O’Hanlon, a military analyst at the nonpartisan Brookings Institution in Washington, said limiting statements of incremental deployments could have been justified to avoid giving information to hostile forces.

“Broad contours of an operation should be debated openly, and publicly understood, but specific raids or other modest changes in capabilities and deployments should not be telegraphed in advance,” he said.

But officials of previous administrations said that approach limits debate over military policy.

“Syria is a complicated environment, so if you’re sending Americans in harm’s way over there, people need to know what the overeaching goal is,” said Lawrence Korb, a former assistant secretary of Defense under President Reagan and current fellow at the Center For American Progress Action Fund.

“It’s important to have a public debate,” he said. “Congress must have a role in deciding what happens next, otherwise this is a slippery slope.”

Congress has not debated the additional deployments, and the Trump administration has yet to explain what its longer-term policy is for Iraq or Syria.

In the absence of a specific authorization for use of troops in those two countries, the Pentagon for years has been relying on legal authority granted by Congress in 2001 to combat Al Qaeda and its affiliates. That authorization predated the existence of the Islamic State by more than a decade.

Defense Secretary James N. Mattis told Congress last week that he favored a more specific authorization.

“I think it would be a statement of the American people’s resolve if you did so,” he said.

Some members of Congress have raised concerns about the deployments.

Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.) Told Votel she was concerned that additional deployments might lead to an “expansive, open-ended commitment” in Syria.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said Thursday that a new use of force authorization could be up for debate once the White House settles on its strategy for combating Islamic State.

“They’re developing an ISIS strategy. They sent one to the president a month ago; He has not accepted it. When they finish that, we plan to have hearings on all of these issues, “Corker said. “My guess is after that, we may in fact try and do an AUMF,” he said, referring to an authorization for use of military force.

Sen. Thom Tillis (RN.C.), a member of the Armed Services Committee, said the appetite in Congress has grown for taking a fresh look at the issue.

“The world’s changed a bit,” Tillis said. “The nature of the threat’s changed too.”

That would be an important step, said Sen. Here Udall (DN.M.).

“I do not think it is right for the US military to become involved in the Syrian civil war based on the 9/11 AUMF,” he said. “I voted for that AUMF as a House member. I never imagined that vote being used to justify US ground troops in Syria in the year 2017. And I do not think anyone else who voted in favor of it did either. “

Times staff writer Lisa Mascaro contributed to this article.

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US Treasury granted the Iraqi Association of Banks and the Order of John F. Kennedy

 

economy

Thursday, March 30, 2017 11:47

US Treasury granted the Iraqi Association of Banks and the Order of John F. KennedyDuring the receipt of Wadih Alhntl and Sam John F. Kennedy

Books – Mohamed Adel:

 Wadih received Handal, head of the Iraqi Association of private banks, Sam John F. Kennedy for the role of the Association of Excellence at the local level, regional and international. He handed over the medal representative of the US Treasury Department in Iraq, John Sullivan, at the headquarters of the Association, and in the presence of a group of banking leaders, representatives of the US Treasury in Iraq.

Honor comes in recognition of the efforts of the Association in the development of the banking sector in Iraq and cooperation in building bridges of cooperation between Iraq and the United States of America, and cooperation between the two countries in support of the private banking sector and its compliance with international standards and to work on restoring Iraqi banks dealings with US banks.

Said Wadih Handal, he said that the award of pride and confidence of the Association certificate, and confirm that the association is going on its way towards the Iraqi society and economy service, human resources development and openness to the world. Explaining that the medal was granted to the Association for its role in the advancement of the sector of the Iraqi banking, and its contribution to the humanitarian relief goods and development of social projects across the country, and the future vision enjoyed by the association towards building a strong and capable of driving economic growth in Iraq’s banking sector.

He explained that the association is proceeding well thought towards the development of human resources as the number of trainees to 530 currently, and the number will rise to 630 end of this month, indicating that the association plans to increase the number to 2,000 trainees with the end of the year 2017.

The head of the Iraqi Association of private banks that the visit of the US Treasury of the Association of Iraqi private banks, where the delegation had fruitful know the delegation on the achievements of the private banking sector and its role in the reconstruction of Iraq. He added Wadih Handal, that the delegation’s visit gives a strong and clear message over the confidence and faith Treasury trends and the work of the Association, which is the Iraqi Central Bank arm a chance to tell the success stories of private banks in the areas of the country’s reconstruction and development of Al-Rashid Street project Take Baghdad and a campaign of our people, headed by Ambassador that goodwill musician Naseer Shamma, noting that the delegation’s visit reflects the interest of the Association on the level of the Arab, regional and international, which is one of the most important joints of the Iraqi private sector, which is very much looking forward to the national role in building the country devastated by war and ravaged by the winds of terrorism To Black.

For his part, John Sullivan, head of the delegation appreciated the efforts of the Association of private banks and their role in the development of the work of banks through advanced training programs.

The US Treasury delegation included John Sullivan head of the delegation and the Bank of New York Michelle Chatzl Reserve and Rashid Naseem director at Bank of New York and Leslie Young adviser at the US Treasury and Mary the gift of energy and economic adviser.

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Iraqi Day- Twitter

 

Iraqi Day 🇮🇶 Retweeted Iraqi Day 🇮🇶  

Al-Nuri mosque a important symbol to & forces, ISIS gave his famous speech in it announcing the “caliphate”.

Iraqi Day 🇮🇶 added, 

 

 

Daesh allows its components to withdraw from Ayman al-Mosul


Leaders of Daesh issued orders authorizing the elements of the organization to withdraw from the battles between him and Iraqi forces in the city of Mosul.An intelligence source from inside the city of Mosul, said that “some of the leaders Daesh issued a ruling authorized the withdrawal of the elements of the fighting in the right coast of the city of Mosul.”

The source, who asked not to be named, said: “Daesh knows that certain after losing most of its leaders and elements of stores gear and weapons in Ayman Mosul battles defeat,” pointing out that “the escape became the duty of its components to arrange the position.”

The joint security forces, and the forces of the international coalition, recently bombed Okara by the leaders of refuge “Daesh” in the city of Mosul.

It is noteworthy that the liberation of Mosul, a process that began last October 2016, and managed security forces to regain control of the eastern part of the city, and began offensive operations on the western part of the remaining militants, however, “Daesh” .anthy 29/1 for

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