November 6, 2015 | Quote

Pentagon Throws Shade on New ISIS War Plan

The U.S. is sending a small group of Special Operation Forces advisers to Syria to help its stalled allies in the war on the self-proclaimed Islamic State. But even before they get there, there is already skepticism within parts of the Pentagon about what impact they can have.

Some in the Pentagon are baffled why sending “less than 50” troops, far from the frontlines, is considered a worthwhile idea. But these same defense officials noted that this is a war without many good options.

One defense official called it a “half-measured” approach. Another responded with a shrug. Still others feared it could aggravate already fragile relations between Kurdish and Arab forces.

The most powerful Kurdish forces did not ask for this new U.S. help. Kurdish troops stationed there, known as the YPG, have repeatedly rejected advising, and asked instead for heavy arms and tanks. Moreover, they have said they want to fight only for cities and towns that fill gaps in what would be contiguous territory, areas different than what the U.S. wants them to fight for.

“I think it is a fine move, but it has to be connected to a broader strategic framework,” Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a senior fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told The Daily Beast.

“The problem with the administration’s policy so far is there have been an awful lot of moves that make sense in and of themselves but don’t fit into a broader strategy that can produce the results.” 

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