The president’s No. 1 priority bar none is to defeat ISIS, and to that end, the United States will deploy 250 additional troops to Syria, reportedly to join the 50 who are there now providing training to anti-ISIS forces. Because the U.S. forces are there to train Syrian fighters and not lead the fight, they’re not technically considered “boots on the ground” somehow, even though they will be on the ground, in Syria, wearing boots.
— Al Jazeera News (@AJENews) April 25, 2016
— Independent US (@IndyUSA) April 25, 2016
— Reuters (@Reuters) April 25, 2016
Last September, Secretary of State John Kerry told the Senate that putting boots on the ground was out of the question, after confusing everyone by raising a “hypothetical question about some possibility” where American combat forces were needed, such as if Syria “imploded.”
— Department of State (@StateDept) September 3, 2013
Here’s video of the Senate not letting Kerry be clear.
Last October, President Obama announced that 50 special ops forces would be deployed in Syria in a “sharp escalation of US involvement.” This too might have looked to the casual observer like the president putting boots on the ground, which he pledged not to do. The following video clip is only four seconds long and well worth the time investment.
It’s outright pledges like that one that led reporters to laugh at State Department spokesman John Kirby Monday afternoon when he insisted that the department’s policy has always been one of not deploying combat troops but providing assistance to opposition fighters.
— Free Beacon (@FreeBeacon) April 25, 2016
Associated Press reporter Matt Lee pressed Kirby on the “no boots on the ground” policy, which eventually had Kirby reduced to banging on his lectern to prove his point.
Why is this so hard for people to understand? Let the Free Beacon count the ways.
A policy adjustment? Kirby made himself more than clear: there never was a “no boots on the ground” policy, OK?