In a conversation with several journalist the President has explained “off the record” why he is not considering to send more boots on the ground to Syria and Iraq to fight the Islamic State.
According to these journalist, who were briefed under the condition if not releasing the information, the President holds the view, that a stronger engagement involving larger numbers of military service men and women would be too costly.
The cost of a full American invasion in Syria could amount to:
– 50 to 100 dead U.S. soldiers per month
– 500 monthly wounded
– the price tag for such a war could exceed 120 billion dollars per year.
President Obama said that if he did send troops to Syria, he feared a slippery slope that would eventually require similar deployments to other terrorist strongholds like Libya and Yemen as well.
Obama has come under stress from Republican Presidential candidates in recent weeks to explain why he isn’t taking a tougher stance in the fight against ISIL.
In this context it might be possible that the White House, which is usually very strict with its rules regarding the confidentiality of information, gave the reporters some wiggle room to release the President’s arguments to the public.