GARRETT: Just to follow up, one last one on Juliet’s question about Special Operations. Is that a permanent declaration — the president will not introduce Special Operations forces either into Iraq or Syria? Or just this particular recommendation was rejected and others can be proffered in the future?
JOSH EARNEST: Well, Major, you know that it has been publicly reported that earlier this summer there was an operation in Syria –
GARRETT: Sure, yes. We already know that. I’m talking about going forward.
EARNEST: Well, I think what that is an indication of is that the line the president is drawing is about a sustained combat operation — a ground war, if you will — in Iraq and Syria. The president will not allow the United States to be dragged back into a ground war. And that is why the president is not contemplating deploying additional combat troops on the ground in either Iraq or Syria.
GARRETT: But he remains open to mission-specific applications — Special Operations forces if the need arises?
EARNEST: I’m not willing to broadly take anything — to broadly take anything off the table.
Kind of ludicrous not to think that special operations troops: (Army Rangers and Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Marine Raiders and Air Force SOW guys, what have you) wouldn't be involved in the future in any anti-ISIS operations in Syria and Iraq. They're almost certainly involved now. Those 475 "support troops" we're sending in? Yeah, most certainly consisting of these "tip of the spear" guys.
And yeah, I forsee more of them going in. As much emphasis as the White House is putting on not sending in regular ground troops and not being dragged into another ground war, the dirty work is going to go to these guys. It's what they're trained for.