Friday, September 12, 2014

Narrow Front

The 475 American troops being added to Iraq (increasing our troop strength to 1,600) will help Iraq fight on a narrow front.


The new troops will arrive over the coming week to carry out a three-part mission: advising and assisting Iraq's security forces, supporting intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance flights from Erbil in northern Iraq, and staffing a headquarters to coordinate U.S. military activities throughout Iraq.

Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said Wednesday that 150 advisors and support personnel will form a dozen teams that will embed with Iraqi security forces at the brigade level and above. They will not be involved in frontline combat situations.

Others will staff drone units. Since others already operate at higher levels with Iraqi forces, this means we will be operating at a limited number of brigade and division headquarters.

Assuming, one division controls three maneuver brigades, that means we will support 3 Iraqi divisions with 9 maneuver brigades.

Unless some of our allies take on similar roles in other Iraqi units (and what about Kurdish forces?), the Iraqi offensive effort we are to support will be fairly narrow.