FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
No combat pay for US advisors in Iraq
Last week Obama announced that he was sending 300 Special Forces troops to Iraq:
Seeking a middle ground between calls for tough military action and none at all, President Barack Obama said Thursday he was sending up to 300 military advisers to Iraq to help the embattled government hold off a lightning advance from the north by Sunni militants.
What exactly will these guys being doing? It seems like they are simply a photo op that has the opportunity to become a disaster.
Special Forces troops heading to Iraq to advise the Iraqi security forces will not receive combat pay but will have immunity from local law, Pentagon officials said Friday.
“This is not a combat mission, they are not being sent to participate in combat,” said Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, of the 300 Special Forces troops ordered to Iraq by President Obama on Thursday.
Consequently, the troops would not be eligible for “imminent danger pay” of $7.50 daily up to $225 per month for service members in areas where they could be at grave risk, Kirby said.
Kirby said danger pay ended for U.S. troops with the withdrawal of forces at the end of 2011, and Iraq currently was no longer considered a combat zone in terms of pay and benefits for U.S. troops.
While these men are not supposed to be in combat, Obama specifically said:
“American forces will not be returning to combat in Iraq but we will help Iraqis as they take the fight to terrorists who threaten the Iraqi people, the region and American interests as well”
It is difficult to see how we help Iraqis “take the fight to the terrorists” if the men we send to do this will be so far removed from combat that they do not draw hazardous duty pay. In order to evaluate what is going on, at some point you have to see the situation for yourself.
This looks to be yet another of Obama’s ridiculous directives that are launched with great fanfare but turn out to be nothingburgers.