WASHINGTON, W.Va. – As many as 300 U.S. Special Forces soldiers will be going into Iraq to serve as additional advisers to the Iraqi military which is fighting to hold off ISIL — the Sunni insurgents who crossed the Syrian border on a march to Baghdad.

President Barack Obama made the announcement on Thursday afternoon at the White House.  It’s one of several steps, he said, the U.S. is taking in response to the growing violence in Iraq.

President Obama again ruled out sending U.S. combat troops to Iraq, but said the U.S. was “repositioning its military assets” in the region and would take “targeted and precise military action” against ISIL, the Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant, if improved intelligence gathering showed such actions were warranted.

“It is clear that only leaders that can govern with an inclusive agenda are going to be able to truly bring the Iraqi people together and help them through this crisis,” the President said in comments that seemed to be directed at Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki who had requested U.S. airstrikes.

“The United States will not pursue military options that support one sect inside of Iraq at the expense of another.  There’s no military solution inside of Iraq, certainly not one that is lead by the United States.”  President Obama said local Iraqi forces will have to take the lead.

Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate, called for as much — earlier in the day — on Thursday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

“We have Maliki here who is saying, ‘We need your help with airstrikes.’  But, before we take one step forward, I want to know what Maliki has.  What is his commitment?  What is he willing to do?”

As for those in the U.S. military, “They’ve done their job.  American troops and sailors and soldiers have done their jobs and it’s now time for the Iraqis to take responsibility for themselves,” said Tennant.

She said the defense of Iraq must begin with Iraqis.  “I want to know what their intentions are — where is their commitment?  Certainly, I do not want to see boots on the ground.”

Additionally, President Obama said the U.S. would lead a diplomatic effort to work with Iraqi leaders and the other countries in the Middle East to support stability in Iraq.  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was scheduled to leave Washington, D.C. this weekend for meetings in the Middle East and Europe.

The last of the U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq in 2011 following more than eight years of war.

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Comments

  • winston

    when I went to war in the gulf 90/91 we had 29 other forces from all over and 500,000 troops from U.S. now we are sending 300 in to that hell, I am just sick for them go to win or stay the hell out.

  • Gary

    We don't need another Obama puppet like Rockefeller and that is what Tennant is. I'm not that crazy about Capito but I think she is the lesser of the two evils.

    • Aaron

      For me, this race is not about Obama beyond the fact that he is a lame duck president and can only yield so much power. Everybody knows the House will remain Republican thus the question is what will the Senate do. It certainly does not switch to Republican if Tennant wins this seat.

      As I believe the only way to control spending is an ever increasing partisan divide in Washington and I believe Democrats will win the presidency in 2016, I favor a Republican Congress thus my support for Capito. Hopefully she wins, Republicans neutralize Harry Reid, and Congress passes fewer bills next year than they did this year.

  • Aaron

    I thought about Iraq last night and I've wondered a few things.

    When it was popular to invade, Democrats overwhelmingly supported GWB and his invasion into Iraq.

    When the war became unpopular, despite having access to the same intelligence information, Democratic leaders started saying they were lied to and wanted to take back their vote. Despite that, they traded continued funding for the war for a minimum wage increase and other social spending.

    From there, they led massive protest against the war and against GWB, even past the point that Bush signed the Status of Forces Agreement that removed troops from Iraq by 2011.

    When Obama took office, the war protest stopped and he about the only thing he did regarding Iraq was to not agree to Iraqi demands that in exchange for a renewed SOFA agreement in 2008, US forces would be subject to Iraqi law. As a result the war ended under Bush's agreement and troops came home.

    And now Obama is replaying his mistake in Libya and Egypt by choosing sides without committing to follow through which will further destabilize the region and entangle the US in policing the world.

    My view is, if Jesus Christ couldn't bring peace to the region, what makes an American President think they can. We need to bring ALL troops home from and let them fight it out.

    • The bookman

      Unless someone can articulate a US vital interest in the entire region that justifies aggression, that requires a forcefully installed peace with massive casualties across the region, that can be accepted on the world stage as necessary, I think we are done attempting to officiate this perpetual religious war. There are interests in the region, both politically and economically, but do we as a nation have the stomach for the type of catastrophic devastation that a decisive peace would require. There will never be a mutual peace between these people. It will have to be won with not a shred of defiance remaining. I'm not sure that is possible to achieve by a US intervention any longer without rendering the region uninhabitable.

  • Silas Lynch

    I was puzzled as to why Metro News would be reporting this, clearly a secondhand news story for the metro Staff, especially that it was positioned on their website to what would be the equivalency of “Above the fold” story in the print world.

    Then I finally reached its intent. A campaign stump speech for Ms Tenant authored by an obvious supporter in disguise as “HARD NEWS”

    Is it appropriate to still report Ms. Tennant as “Secretary of State”?

  • Aaron

    “The United States will not pursue military options that support one sect inside of Iraq at the expense of another...."

    Wait, what? That is exactly what you did in Libya when Qaddafi was on the verge of repealing rebels without their taking over the country. When the US chose the rebels side in the name of preventing "genocide", Qaddafi's army had killed 300 rebels and would have regained control of his country with less than 1000 deaths against a rebellion who initiated violence against his troops. At that point, Obama ordered US bombing against the Libyan military which allowed rebels to halt their retreat out of Libya, prolong the war for almost a year and result in over 7,000 deaths and allowed rebel troops, many of whom had fought against America in both Iraq and Afghanistan to take control of Libya.

    This President wanted out of Iraq and that is exactly what happened. When he left, every intelligence agency in the world predicted this would happen. Sunni and Shiite's have been fighting for millennium, not centuries and why anyone believes the US can settle this issue diplomatically is beyond me. Now he wants back in but only a little bit. Surely he must understand that if you are going to nation build then you have to go all in. If you're not willing to do that then stay out as you can't have it both ways.

    You would think that someone as smart as the President is would understand that given the United States has failed for almost 70 years in countries all over the world. The two countries in which we have been successful are a result of 7 decades of occupation. In or out Mr. President, you cannot have it both ways. Your flip flopping will do nothing but cost American lives as has been the case of your lack of commitment in Afghanistan.

    • Aaron

      Last paragraph should have read...

      You would think that someone as smart as the President would understand that given the United States has failed in nation building efforts all over the world for almost 70 years that it doesn't work without a commitment. The two countries in which we have been successful are a result of 7 decades of occupation, not months or years. In or out Mr. President, you cannot have it both ways. Your flip flopping will do nothing but cost American lives as has been the case of your lack of commitment in Afghanistan.

  • Sarah

    Thank you Natalie Tennant for the service you and your husband have made to our country. Your family has sacrificed more than Ms. Capito's and most of the people posting on this board but I want you to know those that respect military service, THANK YOU.

    Sarah P.
    Jimtown, WV

  • PMQ

    Natalie Tennant could not find Iraq on a map.

  • Carla

    I think it's wonderful and amazing that Ms. Tennant is so informed about the current state of affairs in Iraq. She will be a great addition to the US Senate should she be elected.

    • RogerD

      It really is wonderful to have Ms. Tennant so well informed on the current state of affairs in Iraq. I wonder how many times she has visited the region. She might even qualify for a Presidential appointment to be interim President of Iraq. That would be so swell! *L*

    • The bookman

      Yeah, I bet she studied all night.

      Or read the newspaper this morning. Either way, she has no clue how to proceed other than to support the President's approach of one foot in, one foot out. Half measures got us in this mess, and they won't improve the situation, only prolong the misery.

      • Sarah

        Her husband served during this war and you have the nerve to state that? That is disgusting. No respect for those that serve OR THEIR FAMILIES.

        • Aaron

          That does not qualify her to be a United States Senator.

          • Aaron

            You know Dave, for the life of me I cannot find the small business that Natalie Panett and Eric Wells started together. I have read pages and pages of of Internet postings and there is nothing on their alleged business. Can you shed some light on it and how it relates to Mrs. Wells interesting story?

          • Aaron

            As I have been saying for months days, Capito by seven points. Market down, write it in ink, no eraser needed. Guaranteed, lunch at the nearest Sheetz for the winner. You game?

          • Dave

            Wide**

          • Dave

            Capito has skeletons. Her support (right now) is a mile wise and an inch deep. Natalie is loved by those that support her.

            This race is far from over. Capito already putting out radio ads tells me her numbers are moving in the wrong direction. Also her campaign has picked up on their attacks on Natalie.

            It's a great indication of what is really happening. I stated it here first - Natalie is going to win this race. Not by a huge margin, but she will win it. She has the numbers to make it happen without independents and republicans. She also has a better story.

          • Aaron

            Contingent.

            Fat fingers, auto correct and iPhones make for many a joke.

          • Hop'sHip

            Are you arguing that Capito will win big because she has the support of the incontinent? I think there is a joke here but it would be both tasteless and insensitive for someone as politically correct (it use to be called just polite) as I.

          • Aaron

            You keep telling yourself that and if you're really lucky, after being soundly thrashed by Capito in November, she and the small continent of supporters can spend the next year praying to the political gods that Joe doesn't decide he wants to be governor again.

          • Dave

            In Zoology? Uh yes.

            As far as working hard vs privilege. It took a much harder road for Natalie to get where she is than it did for Capito to get where she did.

            I would think Capito is a hard worker if:

            1) She had a major leadership role in the House right now. She doesn't and has never even attempted to push herself in that direction IN 14 YEARS.

            2) She's had any major legislative victories in the 14 years she's served (especially with so many years in the majority party.) The only thing I can point to is the Flood Insurance act she helped co-sponsor and spoke in favor of on the House floor and that has been a disaster for WV.

            She did neither of those things and her career prior to politics is pretty sad. She's never owned her own business or had to make financial decisions for any entity.

            Natalie has done it all on work. Owning a small business is hard and to do that, have a child, have a husband serving during war and leaving, running for office and serving in office all at the same time = toughness.

            We need a hard working, tough leader. Natalie meets the criteria.

          • Aaron

            So you think Duke is easier to gain a bachelors degree from then West Virginia?

            Interesting

          • The bookman

            So the assumption is that anyone from privilege doesn't work hard to achieve, and that one who did not have that advantage should be given some advantage because of his/her circumstances. I disagree with the premise behind both. Listen to what they say. See if it is supportive of your philosophy. Vote your conscience.

            Full disclosure! I have more demographically in common with NT than SC but I would never allow demographics to supersede philosophy in deciding my vote!

          • Dave

            Capito graduated High School from an elite private school in Maryland then went to Duke for Zoology then Masters at the University of Virginia. Worked hard for that didn't see?

            Then she was a college counselor.

            Please pray tell how any of that was through hard work vs. being funded by daddy?

            Natalie: worked on a farm and got through WVU bach and masters by selling cows from their farm. She worked as a news reporter (started at the bottom and worked up) then broke off with her husband to start their own small business.
            She won her Secretary of State race against the House Majority Leader that had a 4-1 money advantage.

            They are very different. One has worked hard and made a name for herself, the other has used her born name and daddy's money to get where she has gotten.

          • Aaron

            Natalie worked for her husband's service in the military? How so? And what proof do you have that Congresswoman Capito did not work for where she is at?

            I await your response.

            If you have one.

          • Dave

            It gives her MUCH more credibility than Capito who has had things handed to her for her entire life.

            Natalie has worked for everything she has gotten. BIG DIFFERENCE.

        • The bookman

          I'm aware of his service, and respect him for his service, and her for her sacrifice. However , she is running for the Senate. She is supporting the President's policy of non committed involvement. Our involvement in this region has never been a posture of victory. Nation building doesn't work. In respect to the men and women that we ask to make the ultimate sacrifice, and the families they leave behind, we owe them our full measure of support. If we can't or won't give it, then we have no business or compelling interest to deploy. IMHO!

          • The bookman

            She doesn't seem confident, or genuine, in anything she says. I don't believe she knows what to do as a course of action in Iraq. She parrots the President's words because she is in his camp. If that's good enough for you, then vote for her. I, however, am looking for representation by someone who parrots my course of action on this and other issues in Washington. That person, regardless of her Husband's service to our country or the sacrifice she has made as his spouse, is not Natalie Tennant.

          • Sarah

            You can agree or disagree on policy but to demean her sacrifice and state "Yeah, I bet she studied all night." was a cheap and condescending shot.

          • Aaron

            Perhaps it is just me but part of the reason I believe this President is such a poor leader is because he far too often surrounds himself with individuals who, like Burwell have a vast majority of experience rooted in academia and/or government service and clearly not enough experience in the real world.

            Burwell, for her academic achievements, has no practical experience in private industry as the closest she has came is to serve on the Board of Directors of Met Life and in leading to charitable foundations, none of which require hard decisions.

            Unfortunately, that seems to be a common theme among our those wishing to represent us and it shows. Of course I mean that in the most non-condescending way.

          • The bookman

            HH:

            It bothered me all night about the mystery Rhodes Scholar. So you feel I was condescending to Sylvia Burwell regarding her interview with a Metronews affiliate? Would you like to explain? She sounded in the interview just as Tennant does when in front of the mic. Unsteady and unsure as to whether she is getting all the talking points in, and in the right order of delivery. Although, I think Burwell would have been a better choice for Senate than Tennant. She is obviously too smart for that, to her credit. Better?

          • The bookman

            It was not intended to be condescending, but it was intended to be direct. Tired of repeating the failed mission of attempting to solve the conflicts between warring factions of people who really don't want our help. Colin Powell stated it correctly, that if we break it, we have to own it. We don't own it, and we can't fix it.

          • Hop'sHip

            Didn't mean to be so "iresome" but the last time I remember you being so condescending, it was toward another WV woman, who happens to have been a Rhodes Scholar - no modest achievement. It's like you make Rush judgments, IMHO.

          • The bookman

            HH, it's no wonder you bring the ire of so many. Being confident in one's beliefs and being arrogant are two different things. However, it is my opinion, and the humility may have been lost in the response. If it was hubris you derived, my apologies.

          • Hop'sHip

            Bookie: You explained IMHO before but I forgot. Is it in my hubristic opinion?

  • Rick

    Tennant still thinks that the Middle East is Randolph County.

  • Pruntytown

    Hello Kettle!
    "It is clear that only leaders that can govern with an inclusive agenda are going to be able to truly bring the Iraqi (USA) people together and help them through this crisis,”