From the New York Times:
President Obama has authorized the deployment of up to 450 more American troops to Iraq to train and assist the Iraqi forces battling the Islamic State, the White House announced on Wednesday, signaling a major shift of focus in the fight against the Sunni militant group.
The additional American troops will arrive as early as this summer, a United States official said, and will focus on training Sunni fighters with the Iraqi Army. The official called the coming announcement “an adjustment to try to get the right training to the right folks.”
The troops will set up the training center primarily to advise and assist Iraqi security forces and to engage and reach out to Sunni tribes in Anbar, a senior United States official said. The focus for the Americans will be to try to accelerate the integration of Sunni fighters into the Iraqi Army, which is dominated by Shiites. That will be an uphill task as many of the Sunni fighters in the area do not trust the Iraqi Army.
Where were you in the summer of ’64?
To people of a certain age, this story has a disturbing echo to the last time we sent in advisers and propped up a weak army and an unpopular government riddled with graft. Back then we were goaded into it because a lot of people were running around with their hair on fire because the enemy was going to conquer the world.
We just got back from fucking up the last war in Iraq. We have learned nothing except how to deceive ourselves that this time we’ll get it right. There’s no right way to do a wrong thing.