For years this type of a contingency plan had been a non-starter. But ever since Fallujah was overrun and the bloodshed in Ramadi escalated, the Pentagon is reportedly keeping all options on the table (via the Navy Times):
The Pentagon is considering sending U.S. troops back to the Middle East to help train Iraqi forces, defense officials said Friday.It is unclear whether troops would be sent directly into Iraq or possibly conduct training in a nearby country such as Jordan. “We are in continuing discussions about how we can improve the Iraqi military,” Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said Friday.
The idea of sending U.S. military trainers back to Iraq for the first time since 2011 is one the Pentagon has emphatically rejected in recent years, but on Friday, Warren offered a carefully worded statement that did not rule out the possibility.
The move comes in response to the deepening crisis in Anbar province, where militants have seized parts of Fallujah.
Even if the Pentagon doesn’t deploy U.S. service members to Iraq or Jordan specifically for training purposes, an arms deal is supposedly already in the works:
In addition to discussions about trainers, the Pentagon is also fast-tracking approval for a shipment of small arms and ammunition to the Iraqi military, Warren said.
Another defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the Pentagon also may be considering a larger shipment of arms that would require notification of Congress. “We are processing a wide range of requests [from the Iraqis’] for continued support,” the defense official said.