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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/27/16

Obama's troop increase in Syria is part of a troubling trend

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Reprinted from The Guardian

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When it comes to Syria, "no boots on the ground" was something of a mantra for Barack Obama. He has repeated it dozens of times, but not anymore. On Monday, he told the world at least 250 US troops would soon be fighting inside the country. With American military members now slowly streaming into multiple countries in the Middle East, we're entrenched in yet another war and it's unclear how we'll get out of it.

To much less fanfare last week, the White House also reportedly loosened the military engagement rules in Syria, so that US servicemen are allowed more leeway to kill civilians as collateral damage in pursuit of Isis. Rightwing Republicans have been clamoring for this policy change for months, despite the risk of it completely backfiring on the US and creating many more terrorists than it kills. At the time, Democrats criticized the likes of Ted Cruz for demanding such a policy. Now there is near silence as the Obama administration has made it a reality.

As he's broken his promise involving ground troops in Syria, can we expect the same about-face in Libya? "There's no plan for ground troops in Libya," Obama said at a press conference in London during his European tour last week. He added: "I don't think that's necessary. I don't think it would be welcomed by this new government. It would send the wrong signal."

One can imagine it's only a matter of time before that statement is proven false. Libya is now engulfed in chaos and the number of Isis members is skyrocketing, largely thanks to the US and allies bombing the country and overthrowing Muammar Gaddafi five years ago. There are already drones flying over the country and special forces have already been in and out in the past year to conduct special forces missions. You can picture administration members soon arguing: we must invade the country to save it from the last time we bombed it.

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Trevor Timm is a co-founder and the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. He is a writer, activist, and lawyer who specializes in free speech and government transparency issues. He has contributed to  The (more...)

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