President Obama finds himself walking a fine line between combative action and military support in Iraq, as he announced 200 new armed American personnel were being sent to protect American interests in the fray.
Has the president stayed true to his word that no Americans will return to combat in Iraq, or is he just mincing words to sidestep his promise?
"We will not be sending U.S. troops back into combat in Iraq," he said June 13.
Now here he is June 30 in a letter to Congress advising that he is sending "approximately 200" more U.S. troops to Iraq: "[A] force is deploying for the purpose of protecting U.S. citizens and property, if necessary, and is equipped for combat."
So what gives? Can we say that Obama has kept his promise by not technically sending them "into combat" but rather sending them into Iraq "equipped for combat." Semantics or not, the president initially made it a point that Americans would not be fighting in Iraq again, but that he was considering drones and airstrikes to protect American interests, should the situation become more dire.
It seems the situation became so dire, that on Monday the president forgot all about the drones at his disposal and his reluctance to send armed Americans into combat situations. But this isn't the first time he's fallen off one of his self-imposed tightropes.