Documents leaked on the Internet on Monday revealed that President Barack Obama has asked the Pentagon to ready approximately 2,000 combat-ready soldiers for a possible deployment to the Gaza Strip, to aid Israel in their fight against Hamas and the Palestinians.
The Pentagon papers were leaked Monday morning on the website WikiLeaks, ordering the readying of ground and naval forces, while also ordering a force depletion report for major combat action in the Gaza theater. A force depletion report is an estimation of US casualties, should ground operations be carried out.
The Pentagon’s response was that they would ready several companies of United States Army Rangers, and would be sending one Apache Longbow helicopter, two AH-6 Littlebird helicopters, and several support vehicles, including Blackhawk helicopters, armored personnel carriers, and Humvees. Those ground forces would have air support from the George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier, which is currently sailing toward the Red Sea.
As for the force depletion report, the Pentagon’s outlook is grim, with 18% casualties expected in the region. The report very clearly states that additional forces would be necessary if the White House hopes to be effective in the region, saying that 2,000 soldiers and a small handful of vehicles “simply isn’t enough” for President Obama’s combat objectives, should those units be ordered to deploy.
“They’re making it clear as day here. They don’t want this operation in Gaza to happen, not with the forces Obama wants to send in,” says US Army General Paul Horner (Ret), whom we asked to review the documents, given his background in military intelligence.
“It sounds counter-intuitive to a layman, but if you want fewer casualties, you need to send more men,” Gen. Horner explained. “If Obama wants to send these forces and help out Netanyahu, he’s going to need to send at least 6,000 soldiers. And I would send Marines in, too. They’d get there later, but amphibious assaults and establishing beachheads in Gaza, that would go a long way toward routing this particular enemy.”
If Obama gives the go-order, it would be the first time US soldiers have been deployed to Gaza or Israel on a combat mission. It remains unclear when Obama hopes to launch the mission, or whether or not he’ll actually give the order.
source: national report