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White House lays out combat scenarios for troops vowed not going into combat

“The Obama administration would consider engaging ISIL forces if the U.S. believes it can make ‘a positive difference...’”

US Marines during Operation Steel Curtain, Iraq.
Wikimedia-Commons, Public Domain.

With the Iraqi National Army running away from ISIS faster than the proverbial scalded dog, Barack Obama has made it clear that he has no intentions of committing the hundreds of additional American troops he’s ordered to Iraq to participate in combat operations. Yet as reported by The Washington Times on July 2, 2014, one of the more senior White House security honchos has been laying out a number of scenarios in which U.S. military personnel would engage in direct contact with the al-Qaeda-allied terrorists.

In no uncertain terms on June 13, 2014, Barack Obama flatly vowed to the American people "We will not be sending U.S. troops back into combat in Iraq..." (see video). Yet with the impressive title of The Deputy National Security Advisor to the President, Ben Rhodes gave a number of different synopses to the press in which the hundreds of American forces recently deployed in and around Baghdad would participate in direct combat with the blitzkrieging forces of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant/Syria (ISIS/ISIL).

According to Rhodes, the United States “has a role to play in a number of different ways” that could result in direct combat in Iraq. “I think the threats that we would look to, for instance, would include an evaluation of whether ISIL is posing a threat to U.S. interests that would necessitate our taking action against them, as we have against terrorist organizations in other parts of the region. I think the security and safety of our personnel would certainly be of profound interest to the United States.”

Not quite done yet, Rhodes also gave the open-ended statement of “the Obama administration would consider engaging ISIL forces if the U.S. believes it can make ‘a positive difference.’” The definition of “a positive difference” remains open to interpretation.

As reported by Fox News on June 30, 2014, the Obama Administration’s most recent installment of American troops into Iraq as 200 more members of the Armed Forces, ostensibly to beef-up security for not only the U.S. Embassy - Baghdad, but also to provide security for Baghdad International Airport. Other than the permanent detachment of Marines assigned to the embassy’s security detachment, the amount of additional servicemen ordered in-country has been estimated between 600-800 Marines and Army Special Forces.