#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON – Nov.23 – Following on from previous post earlier and the Press Release about Obama’s secret order report.

Just received this update: Pentagon reversed a decision to delay deploying 1,500 troops to Iraq until Congress approved $5.6 billion in funding to pay for their missions. 

“We can deploy troops to the theatre, but — so that — that process can and will continue,” said Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby at a briefing Thursday. 

Kirby said Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, commander of U.S. Central Command, has also moved about 50 U.S. forces within Iraq to Anbar Province to get a “jump start” on expanding the advise-and-assist mission, as well as on starting to train Iraqi forces in their fight against Islamic militants.

“But it doesn’t mean that we still don’t need the authorization in terms of the resources that will go with the much more robust program that we’re trying to get done,” Kirby said. “He can start it and he is.”

President Obama ordered 1,500 more troops to Iraq on Nov. 7, which would double the total number of forces there to more than 3,000. 

Congress is expected to approve the funds as part of a spending bill that’s must-pass legislation to avoid a government shut-down next month. However, exactly when that will happen is unclear.

There is also some concern that the deployment needs to be sped up to capitalize on recent gains by Iraqi forces.

“One, it’s important and we wanted to get it started,” Kirby said. “No. 2, it sends an important signal both to the Iraqis and to coalition partners of how seriously we’re taking this.”

“And the sooner we get started, the sooner Iraqi units will improve in their capability and the sooner we’ll get coalition contributions to that particular mission,” he said. 


#deploying, #secret-report, #spending, #troops