McCain blasts Obama's anti-ISIS troop increase as 'grudging incrementalism'

How Many Coalition Troops Are on the Ground Fighting ISIS?
How Many Coalition Troops Are on the Ground Fighting ISIS?

The chairman of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee blasted President Barack Obama's decision on Monday to increase the number of Americans on the ground in Iraq fighting the Islamic State group, saying this form of "grudging incrementalism" will cost American lives.

Sen. John McCain's statement came shortly after Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced from Baghdad that the White House had raised the self-imposed cap on the number of U.S. troops in Iraq by 217 to a total of 4,017. The announcement follows roughly 18 months of small increases to the American-led training and advising mission in Iraq against the extremist network.

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The Arizona Republican welcomed the increase in troops to a conflict for which he has long advocated greater American involvement but disagreed with the manner in which it was being executed, adding "this is yet another example of the kind of grudging incrementalism that rarely wins wars, but could certainly lose one."

"This deployment is also representative of the increasing operational demands imposed upon our military that are not funded in the president's already inadequate defense budget request," McCain said. "Continuing to ask our military to do more with less is irresponsible and is placing the lives of our service members at increased risk."

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Originally published