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U.S. Ground Troops Now In Libya

To "exchange information" with local forces as they battle ISIS.

vittoare/flickrvittoare/flickrLast week, the Pentagon announced the U.S. was assisting government forces in Libya in retaking Sirte from the Islamic State (ISIS), which had set up a beachhead in the coastal city.

Today, the Pentagon admitted an unspecified number of troops were operating on the ground in Libya. "As with any military operation supporting another force, coordination and synchronization of effort is essential," a defense press secretary said, according to The Hill. "To that end, a small number of U.S. forces have gone in and out of Libya to exchange information with these local forces in established joint operations centers, and they will continue to do so as we strengthen the fight" against ISIS and other terrorist groups.

Maybe Donald Trump will say something stupid again today and blow this story out of the water, maybe he won't. Hillary Clinton, a primary advocate of U.S. intervention in Libya in 2011, which created the space for terror groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS in the country, has had just one "half-way" press conference in the last eight months and is unlikely to be place herself in a position where she could be asked about the continuing U.S.-aided disaster in Libya. Neither is Trump likely to deploy a substantive argument against Clinton's actions in Libya in the final three months of the presidential campaign.

Libya says its forces have captured the convention center in Sirte.

Photo Credit: Vittoare/flickr

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Maybe Donald Trump will say something stupid again today and blow this story out of the water...

    It won't take 140-character word salads to see this story sunk - sank? - no, sunk.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Fist, the three best words that best describe you, are as follows, and I quote: "Stink! Stank! Stunk!"

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    + 3 Sizes that day

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Untrue.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    The acknowledgement came after The Washington Post on Tuesday reported that U.S. special operations were "providing direct, on-the-ground support for the first time to fighters battling" ISIS in Libya.

    "I can tell you those [reports] are not true," said Trowbridge. "They are not on the front lines, nor are they on the ground in Sirte."

    Rather, he said, those forces are providing "unique capabilities."

    "Notably intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and precision strikes — that will help enable GNA-aligned forces to make a decisive, strategic advance," he said.

    Ah, "unique capabilities." That explains that.

  • tarran||

    They are not on the front lines
    ...
    Notably [they are providing] intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and precision strikes — that will help enable GNA-aligned forces to make a decisive, strategic advance," he said.

    Having only been in the Navy, my expertise on ground warfare has some huge gaps, so excuse me if I am out to lunch. But don't you generally conduct reconnaissance in places that the enemy is or might be?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    I am guessing that means overhead drones and elint vs. fac's. But what reason do you have to trust the source?

  • Agammamon||

    But then you don't need SOC for that - plenty of conventional units that do nothing but drone and/or ElInt. In fact I'm pretty sure that when SOC needs that stuff they request these sorts of units be available for their tasking rather than having this capability organically.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    *Shrug* Never said it made sense to me either.

  • R C Dean||

    Yeah, between the recon and the precision strikes, I'm struggling with the "not in combat" claim.

    Overhead drones and maybe elint would be surveillance. Elint, interrogations, and analysis would be intelligence. Recon would be, well, boots on the ground close to the enemy.

  • R C Dean||

    Precision strikes means designating targets for the missiles/smart bombs. That can be done off photos with coordinates for large stationary objects. For more tactical strikes, I believe its a guy with a laser designator in line of sight. Totes not combat.

  • Agammamon||

    Well, Obama *has* 'been clear' that if they can't shoot back at you then its totes not a conflict.

  • Chipper-Shredder 2016||

    Kinetic military action. I am not sure if that means that only inert rounds are used. Perhaps they are dropping rocks from drones.

  • american socialist||

    "Maybe Donald Trump will say something stupid again today and blow this story out of the water, maybe he won't."

    Maybe. Maybe people will get some perspective that putting a few advisors in Libya isn't the same as his predecessor, who invaded and occupied a sovereign country for a decade until Barack Obama came along and withdrew hundreds of thousands of troops. Barack Obama is many things and maybe a tad too cautionary when it comes to dismantling the military-industrial complex, but-- you know-- LBJ and GWB he ain't.

  • Ed||

    Yes, he has vastly improved the KD ratio for the U.S. military.

  • american socialist||

    You know, Ed, I know you think that Donald Trump issuing a death threat against HRC is no big deal but-- indulge me-- would you? Can you think of another time in U.S. History where a major party candidate has done such a thing?

    Second question: How many U.S. Troops were in Iraq on January 19, 2008 and how many are there now. That's kind of why I don't have a case of Obama Derangement Syndrome. I was sick to death of all the people that were dying in that bullshit oil war. You?

  • Red Rocks Okey-Dokein||

    How many U.S. Troops were in Iraq on January 19, 2008 and how many are there now. That's kind of why I don't have a case of Obama Derangement Syndrome.

    You do realize the SOFA was negotiated and signed before he even took office, yes?

    I was sick to death of all the people that were dying in that bullshit oil war. You?

    But not the ones that died in Afghanistan (where we still have boots on the ground) after Bin Laden was killed.

  • Agammamon||

    Or Syria, or Libya.

  • Craig@USA||

    I read there are approximately 6,000 US troops in Iraq at present. I'm sure that was a rhetorical question but there you go anyway.

  • Bgoptmst||

    #brownlivesmatter

    Except brown people in the third world. Fuck those guys. They smell bad and don't even know how to do good yard work for me. Plus they have a shit hand, which is gross.

    #brownlivesmatter

    So what if we overthrow a govt and make a shit show out of their country? It's not like we did it Iraq style. Only a couple of Americans died in Libya.

    This is why people think you are a soulless troll. The idea of basic human freedoms and liberties doesn't transcend your shitty California entitlement attitude.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Barack Obama is many things and maybe a tad too cautionary when it comes to dismantling the military-industrial complex

    *eyebrows raised*

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    You mean the hundred thousand troops he anti-pulled out of afghanistan and the largest expansion of medicare/aid since LBJ?

    Yeah, good reasoning there.

  • american socialist||

    Hi, do you want to post the tabular data on the combined u.s. Troop strength in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last 10 years or should I?

    Here's the data on the Afghan War-- the one you guys think makes Obama look like Attila the Hun. The data doesn't quite convey the hypothesis you present, I think I would say.

    http://www.npr.org/2016/07/06/.....nder-obama

  • Red Rocks Okey-Dokein||

    If the purpose of the Afghan war was to get Bin Laden, then every American who died there after he was killed was unnecessary.

  • Rockabilly||

    american socialist = war monger

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    How about them apples?

  • TheZeitgeist||

    The videogame warfare way of the Obama administration was made possible by current sophistication of videogames.

    Remember Slickster? He would do same antics, but with far more expensive cruise missiles - the only good videogame war around in his day.

    I'm sure Hillary will have all kinds of illegal fun with her new toys. Until that one incident with China, which is coming.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Agreed, Chocolate Nixon is acting more like Actual Nixon by the day.

  • Agammamon||

    Maybe, maybe people will get some perspective that withdrawing thousands of troops after you've beefed up your predecessors boondoggle with thousands of extra troops puts you right back where you started at.

    He's no FDR, Truman, or Wilson, or Kennedy, or Johnson, or WJC either but he's managed to drag out what should have been a couple of quick in-and-out invasions for an extra 8 years.

    Oh, and he's got his own internment camp scandal just like your favorite Democrat President.

    Funny, but a quick scan through Wikipedia leads me to the conclusion that the vast majority of major conflicts involving the US are started by Democrats. Even you're fav talking point - the atomic bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima were authorized by a Democrat.

  • SugarFree||

    To "exchange information" with local forces as they battle ISIS.

    Almost like they are in an advisory capacity.

  • ||

    Ha, ha.

    Bush left Obama no choice. He has to clean, erm, things up.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    He's Bush's cuck, eating spooge out of Laura's pussy!

  • Rich||

    "coordination and synchronization of effort is essential," a defense press secretary said, according to The Hill. "To that end, a small number of U.S. forces have gone in and out of Libya to exchange information with these local forces in established joint operations centers set up a secret email server ....

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    Nice.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Democrats: We've moved past making jokes about advisors.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    To "exchange information" with local forces as they battle ISIS.

    Translation: ISIS clown unwittingly sends geolocation info to a Rivet Joint, which then directs a GBU-27 physics class of information in 'exchange.'

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Surely some chemistry and geography in there too.

  • Agammamon||

    Its all physics in the end.

  • Libertarian||

    It's just a shame that there wasn't a recent real-world example that illustrated the folly of fixing a country by bombing it and then ignoring the aftermath.

  • ||

    Ed -

    "...maybe he did, maybe he didn't..."

    I took that as tongue-in-cheek. In any case, kudos to you for wading into that shitshow last night to defend yourself. I enjoyed reading immensely but I was in a loud, crowded bar and trying to keep up on an iPhone so commenting was difficult. You made my night.

  • Ed||

    Thanks! I had fun jumping in.

  • Pan Zagloba||

    You angling for KMW's job? Because if you are planning a coup, a rabble of commentariat is the most effective weapon since Blue and Green sports fans of Nika Riots. And I'll pledge my woodchipper to yours after the performance last night.

  • R C Dean||

    Glad to see you wading in, Ed. Seriously. Remember: we kvetch because we love.

  • Brochettaward||

    The next president is going to have quite a few quagmires to deal with and no one is paying attention.
    1. The Iran deal that won't be followed by Iran, and which the next president will have to address. What's the next step when diplomacy fails? Reason why I never thought the treaty was some great idea to keep the peace.
    2. Ground troops in Iraq.
    3. Ground troops in Afghanistan
    4. Ground troops in Libya
    5. Didn't we even put some 'advisors' into Syria?

  • Phoenix SEO Company||

    Yep! In fact a few were even wounded http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/20/.....ded-syria/

  • Phoenix SEO Company||

    Sorry I should mention that was in response to number 5. Yes though there is a huge amount of quagmires as you call them to deal with. Probably the most appropriate word for issues that are being ignored for now. Typical I guess for an election year.

  • Agammamon||

    Reads commenter's name.

    Reads comment.

    *squints menacingly*

    I'm not certain I'm going to like the posthuman future.

  • Ron||

    The problem with treaties is that some day someone decides to enforce them. Sometimes a lack of treaty means no enforcement requirements. Interesting how the lack of a treaty sometimes means peace.

  • R C Dean||

    Yup. We have just enough people in the major hot spots to blamed, but not enough to actually win.

    3D chess, amirite?

  • Craig@USA||

    Add stationing troops in Poland while Russia gets riled up to the list.

  • ThomasD||

    Hillary wins: Nothing changes

    Trump wins: The day after inauguration the American people wake to news that we are hip deep in a ground war stretching from the Maghreb to Mesopotamia.

  • ThomasD||

    Oh and ten years from now we get listen to proggs prattling on about 'Trumps war' the same way old hippies talk about 'Nixon's war.'

    Because some things are eternal.

  • DJF||

    """Maybe Donald Trump will say something stupid again today and blow this story out of the water,"""

    And Reason Magazine will write a dozen articles telling us that Trump is a stupid Hitler

  • R C Dean||

    I could see a series running through the election, with suitably clickbaity headline:

    "Here's why what Trump said today doesn't matter as much as ______________"

    Alternative:

    "Here's why what Trumpitler said today doesn't matter as much as ______________"

  • ant1sthenes||

    It is literally impossible to be a contender in presidential politics without getting mindshare. It's very expensive to gain mindshare, which means anyone who wants to succeed has to sell their soul to the various DC/global special interests. Trump discovered a loophole, basically a fucking exploit in the game: the media cannot resist an opportunity to make a Republican look bad, but people just get burnt out on hysteria and outrage. Essentially, he keeps talking shit, media keep mechanically saying "oh no he dint!" and covering it, but while the publicity never gets old, people's opinions of him are already as bad as they will get -- and the more the media beclown themselves in covering him, the more sympathetic he gets as a victim.

    All he has to is hold fast and wait for Hillary to implode under the weight of her own corruption. It isn't guaranteed to work, but it's the only thing that will work. If a libertarian ever wants to succeed, he'll pretty much have to go the Trump route as well.

  • The Grinch||

    American intervention has become so expected and people are so conditioned to accept it that hardly anyone gives a shit. They say they do but they don't. Hell, neocons are jumping ship from the Reps to vote for Clinton because she's the pro-war candidate and the Dems are just eating it up-they love it. Many who are voting for Trump are OK with perpetual war but they find other issues to be more important.

    It's a shame and there's no light at the end of the tunnel for the WOT or Libya.

  • IceTrey||

    They captured the convention center? You know what that means, Sirte Comic Con!

  • Chipper-Shredder 2016||

    I was thinking a LGBTX film festival.

  • bassjoe||

    They hate us because of our freedoms.

  • Agammamon||

    But

    ARE

    THEY

    WEARING

    BOOTS?

  • ThomasD||

    +1 Kinetic Foot Apparel

  • bassjoe||

    To be honest, I can't even imagine what Trump will say next anymore... I won't be surprised if he "jokes" that he raped somebody when he was younger...

  • bassjoe||

    "There was this girl, she was really really drunk, you know what I mean? She could barely talk but, man, it was a night I remember! Best part: I didn't even have to get her to sign an NDA!!"

  • Rockabilly||

    War by euphemism

    When she left the White House the other day, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi shared with reporters her conversation with her five-year old grandson.

    She recounted how he asked her whether she supported "war" in Syria. Before telling the rest of the story, she paused to note to the assembled journalists the precocious tike's overly aggressive and politically incorrect language. "Now, he's five years old … and he's saying 'war,'" she explained. "I mean, we're not talking about war, we're talking about an action here.

    http://www.politico.com/story/.....z4GyMVGR6G

  • Bgoptmst||

    Yeah Nancy, it's like the "just the tip defense."

  • Agammamon||

    Libya says its forces have captured the convention center in Sirte.

    Very important site - now they get a +2 to income from all the hotel traffic.

  • ThomasD||

    Shit, there go my Kiwanis plans...

  • ThomasD||

    The Pentagon admitted????

    Has anyone told Obama? Or is he waiting to learn about it on ESPN?

    And why does the name Obama appear nowhere in the text of this article?

    Oh, right Reasontown

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