Largely overlooked in the back and forth about what is being said and done (and not done) on the strategy for dealing with ISIS are the thoughts of the U.S. troops being deployed to Iraq. Rarely do we get a glimpse into their thoughts, but I received an email from a friend – a special operator who is in contact with his fellow soldiers who have been deployed to Iraq – that provides some insight. My friend said it would okay to pass along what he’s hearing anonymously: ‘I'm getting notes from the guys over in these operations centers in Iraq. Frustration and confusion reign. Their commander in chief has deployed them back into harm’s way with a defensive mission to only defend US facilities against ISIS, that it's not a US problem to solve, and the Iraqis must get their act together politically. Now today he says we are going to destroy and degrade ISIS, and in the same sentence that we are going to only manage them. Then we have our Vice President in a Howard Dean moment. My favorite quote of the day from an operator downrange ‘Chase them to the Gates of Hell? How the F$&k are we going to do that when we can't even leave the front gate of our base!?’”
Interesting perspective from someone redeployed to Iraq.