In a dramatic post-election surge, President Barack Obama is doubling the number of U.S. troops in Iraq to 3,000 and asking Congress for $5.6 billion for the war against the so-called Islamic State, officials said Friday. Obama aides denied that the timing was political or that the escalation amounted to "mission creep."
The Pentagon said the new forces would deploy to Iraq “in a noncombat role, to expand our advise-and-assist mission and initiate a comprehensive training effort for Iraqi forces.”
It was the second major announcement regarding Obama’s undeclared and open-ended campaign against the extremist group since Tuesday’s elections. After months of rejecting calls to seek new war-making authority from Congress, Obama reversed course on Wednesday.
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