The Obama administration is in ‘damage control’ mode after Pentagon officials released sensitive information to the press about the ongoing campaign against the Islamic State.
According to media reports, on Feb. 19, U.S. Central Command, which is responsible for military operations in the Middle East, told reporters that “the U.S.-led coalition plans to take back Mosul,” a key Iraqi city captured by ISIS last summer. Officials said that up to “25,000 Iraqi troops are expected to head to Mosul, Iraq, in April.”
Within hours of the disclosure, News Outlets were screaming with the apparently sensitive information CENTCOM had released.
To make matters worse, the Iraqi government and the Iraqi Kurds, two U.S. partners who are essential to the plan’s success, issued a protest over the revelation. Kurdish region’s representative to the U.S., Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, said that her government was “surprised” by the announcement, according to the New York Times.
CNN also reported on the U.S. war plans to retake Mosul.
“Never in our memory can we recall an instance in which our military has knowingly briefed our own war plans to our enemies,” Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) wrote to President Barack Obama the day after the briefing.
This revelation is likely to spark skepticism about the Obama administration’s strategy in the war against ISIS, as it tries to win congressional approval for an authorization to use military force.