Our “boots on the ground” troops in Iraq are receiving mixed messages, and it’s causing more than just a morale problem.

Officials overseas are calling out the Obama Administration on their jumbled approach to current actions being taken against the Islamic State in Iraq. The current mission against ISIS calls for diplomatic protection in addition to airborne and humanitarian missions, and military leadership can’t get a clear read on just how far President Obama is willing to go to destroy (or shrink, he can’t decide) Islamic extremism.

Via Fox News:

Biden on Wednesday delivered what was probably the toughest statement to date from the administration, declaring, after another U.S. journalist was beheaded by the Islamic State, “we will follow them to the gates of Hell until they are brought to justice.”

But his tough talk was at odds with a message delivered earlier in the day by President Obama, who said that while his administration’s goal is to “destroy” ISIS — it also is to “shrink” it to a “manageable problem.”

Amid the mixed messages, a source in contact with special operators in Iraq told Fox News that “frustration and confusion reign” among Americans on the ground there.

The source relayed the complaint of an unnamed special operator: “Chase them to the Gates of Hell? How the [f—] are we going to do that when we can’t even leave the front gate of our base!?”

President Obama recently agreed to send 350 additional troops to Baghdad to protect our diplomatic mission, bringing our troop total on the ground to just over 1200. According to the White House, those troops were meant to relieve previously deployed units while “providing a more robust, sustainable security force for our personnel and facilities in Baghdad.”

Now, it seems even the President and the Vice President can’t get their messaging straight.

At a NATO conference in Wales this week, world leaders discussed the best approaches to combating aggression in both the Middle East and eastern Europe.

U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron have been pressing their NATO counterparts to join a coalition of nations that could degrade militants from the Islamic State group.

The threat posed by the Islamic State overshadowed some of the NATO summit’s official agenda. Yet the leaders still spent a considerable amount of their time discussing the crisis in Ukraine, with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko taking on a high-profile role during the talks.

On the sidelines of the summit, Cameron and Obama were also meeting with their counterparts to rally support for a mission to confront the Islamic State through military might, diplomatic efforts and economic penalties. Both leaders had meetings planned Friday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a key regional player whose support would be crucial to defeating the militants.

Obama also met Friday morning with French President Francois Hollande.

[NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh] Rasmussen suggested that NATO was unlikely to take imminent military action against the militants in Iraq, but said he could foresee the alliance engaging in a “defense capacity-building mission” there.

The confusion has also spread to Capitol Hill, where lawmakers have been largely left in a lurch when it comes to explaining to constituents and the media exactly what steps Congress plans to take to support humanitarian and national security missions overseas.

“The president seems to be a definite maybe,” said Representative Jason Chaffetz.


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