Obama: No Return to Combat in Iraq

The United States has “significantly increased” its intelligence-gathering assets over Iraq and is “developing more information about potential targets” to possibly assist Iraqi ground forces, said President Obama on Thursday. The United States is prepared “to share intelligence and to coordinate planning to confront the terrorist threat” of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, but not lead a military campaign to halt the ISIL onslaught in Iraq, he said in a White House address. “American forces will not be returning to combat in Iraq, but we will help Iraqis as they take the fight to terrorists,” he said. This includes the deployment of up to 300 US military advisors and military aid, he explained. Discussing Iraq in a June 18 appearance on Fox News, David Deptula, dean of AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, said the United States needs to define its critical national security objectives and the “desired political outcome.” If the decision is to halt ISIL’s push toward Baghdad, “airpower is custom made and tailored to do that,” he said. “It’s those kind of decisions and the relationship between military force [and] political objectives that needs to be discussed,” said Deptula.?