The Obama administration is considering a plan to increase the U.S. presence in Iraq by sending 400 to 500 more military personnel as well as establishing a new military base in Anbar Province. The United States already has about 3,000 troops, including trainers and advisers, in Iraq. The administration is describing the military personnel as advisors who will help train Iraqi forces in an attempt to retake the city of Ramadi which fell to the self-described Islamic State last month. Plans to retake Mosul may be pushed off until next year. It was a year ago this week when Islamic State fighters seized Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city. Today the city remains in ISIL’s hands. Advisers close to the White House say it could take decades to defeat ISIL. We discuss the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria with two guests: Malcolm Nance, a retired Arabic-speaking counterterrorism intelligence officer and combat veteran who first worked in Iraq in 1987; and Patrick Cockburn, Middle East correspondent for The Independent just back from reporting in Iraq and Syria. Cockburn’s latest book is The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution. Please check back later for full transcript.
War for Decades to Come? One Year After Islamic State Advance, US Could Send Hundreds More Troops to Iraq