For many years, the Joint Special Operations Command also known as JSOC throughout Pentagon has provided standing forces of the American commandos to track the terrorist leaders overseas. It has been announced now that a small team of the special operators will be deployed to Iraq in order to carry out raids against the ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
Ashton B. Cater, the defense secretary, did not make use of the acronym JSOC as he disclosed the plans. He referred it as a specialized expeditionary targeting force. However, the commandos at the Defense Department stated that there will be at least 100 support personnel with a mission that is similar to the one that was carried out in tandem with the then President George W. Bush in 2007 in Iraq. The commandos conducted many high tempo nightly raids to kill or capture the fighters from Iraq’s Al Qaeda and other Baathist groups.
Now, the ISIS is the new enemy that includes the members of the old enemy as well who were left last time. The officials stated that they viewed the new deployment as the beginning of a phased intensification of the war in Syria and Iraq. The positioned commandos will perform raids stated Col. Steven H. Warren. He is the spokesman for the coalition that is led by the Americans against the Islamic state in Baghdad. They will focus on high value targets and high value individuals.
He stated that the Defense Department preference will be to capture the ISIS leaders alive and not killing them. This way, they can collect intelligence and gather additional insight related to the groups activities and structure. He added that they see this as carrying out operations to defeat the group ISIL that is another name for the Islamic State. Eventually, their mission is Defeat ISIL.
There is high pressure in the White House and Pentagon to show that the U.S. is taking more firm steps to combat the ISIS. As a result, Mr. Cater surprised his top aides by adding the plan for additional commandos into the prepared testimony.
For President Obama, who has been unwilling to send more troops to this region after over a decade of war, the addition of the commandos shows an effort to strengthen the wmprar effort. The administration is taking small steps to augment the pressure on the ISIS without appearing to alter the cautious strategy.
So far, Obama has sent 3,500 American forces to Iraq after the Islamic State took a large amount of land and confirmed a caliphate. In order to prevent any compromise on the American capabilities, the Defense Department officials did not want to detail how the commandos are planning to operate. However, they have given an example of a commando raid that took place in May killed the mid-level Islamic State leader, and the capture of his wife.
As per Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, the Islamic State leaders who will be captured by the American commandos will not be sent to the military prison located at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba as the president is trying to close it. The fate of the prisoners will be decided based on the case.