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Obama administration denies 'mission creep' in Iraq, as US force size grows


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us-mission-creep-in-iraqFox News:

As the unnamed U.S. air campaign over Iraq turned one month old on Monday, the Pentagon and White House continued to deny the fight against the Islamic State has grown into something larger than originally intended.


The U.S. military is not, they say, engaged in "mission creep."


White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on Monday rejected that characterization when asked whether the U.S. mission was gradually expanding beyond the narrowly defined purpose of safeguarding American assets. He was asked specifically about a new operation over the weekend striking targets around Haditha Dam, about 175 miles northwest of Baghdad, and compared that operation to the one to recapture the Mosul Dam.


"The way that it's been described to me is that there is a threat that if ISIL decided to destroy the Haditha Dam that it could threaten or would threaten the airport downstream from the dam," Earnest said.


On Aug. 19, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby also strongly dismissed any such suggestion.


"Mission creep refers to the growth or expansion of the goals and objectives of a military operation, that the goals and objectives change, morph into something bigger than they were at the outset,” Kirby explained. "Nothing has changed about the missions that we're conducting inside Iraq. ... Airstrikes are authorized under two mission areas -- humanitarian assistance and the protection of U.S. personnel and facilities."


But many observers would argue that the mission has changed -- that the "goals and objectives," as Kirby explained it, have morphed into something bigger.



Mission creep accomplished?

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