In Syria, the U.S. may need more troops to manage shaky alliance

Source: Military Times

U.S. commanders in the Middle East are trying to determine whether 300 U.S. troops on the ground inside Syria will be enough to oust the Islamic State group from its self-proclaimed capital in Raqqa.

It’s not a question of combat power. The U.S. has plenty of local allies willing to fight ISIS there. The challenge is convincing those groups to fight the militants rather than each other.

“The biggest problem with Raqqa will be managing the coalition,” said J. Matthew McInnis, a Middle East security expert with the American Enterprise Institute. “If you get an extra six hundred or an extra one thousand troops, that doesn’t dramatically change the situation from a military standpoint, but it does from a political standpoint. You gain a certain amount of ability to manage the situation when you have a little bit larger number troops there.”

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