Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced today (January 22, 2016) that the U.S. will deploy "boots on the ground" in Iraq to help Iraqi forces fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror group, according to the AlterNet News website.
The policy shift is a turnaround from President Obama's previous stance of not deploying combat troops in Iraq, since the airstrikes alone by the U.S. and other nations against ISIS for over a year have not been as successful as expected.
Sec. Carter's announcement today marks the first time an express acknowledgment of ground troops has been made by a U.S. senior official. The first such deployments -- according to Sec. Carter -- will be the 101st Airborne Division.
"Soldiers in the storied 101st Airborne Division will soon deploy to Iraq to join the fight against ISIL," Carter wrote in "Politico" magazine. "They will head there with the support of the American people and armed with a clear campaign plan to deliver the barbaric organization a lasting defeat, which I personally shared with them last week at Fort Campbell," Carter added.