President Obama ordered more than 400 U.S troops to converge in Iraq for training, possibly concluding that the current ISIS strategy of pushing back gains is not working.
The ostensible goal in sending the small force is to aid Iraqi efforts in recruiting new troops ahead of the fight to recapture the major city of Ramadi. The city recently fell to ISIS’ control last month.
The announcement of the deployment came one year after the capture by ISIS of Mosul, the largest city in northern Iraq which serves as a staging ground for the group’s operations in Syria.
But former military officials, who previously served in the Obama administration, question whether the move will make a difference given the restrictions placed on the operations.
The criticism raises the question if the decision is less about strategy and more about public relations in the face of an enemy. An enemy that has nearly defied all counter-measures by the West.