Obama to make case for sending special forces to Iraq

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama on Tuesday asked congressional leaders to meet with him Wednesday as he considers his options in Iraq.

Administration officials tell us the president will make the case for sending a limited number of special forces troops to Iraq.

The president had insisted he did not want to put boots on the ground in the newly flaring conflict but now believes special forces are necessary to develop better intelligence on the Sunni insurgents should airstrikes be ordered.

Obama also wants an up-close assessment of the fighting strength and will of the Iraqi forces in and around Baghdad.

The president will not, we are told, present a prepackaged decision to congressional leaders but will instead seek consensus.

White House aides readily acknowledge the president will need political backing for this and any subsequent move he makes in Iraq.

mehdi.jpg
Mehdi Army fighters march during a military-style training in Najaf, June 17, 2014. Officials say President Obama wants an up-close assessment of the fighting strength and will of the Iraqi forces.
STRINGER/IRAQ, REUTERS

  • Major Garrett

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