As we head toward November mid-term elections, the writing is on the wall that the United States government is simply waiting out the domestic political situation until they can use military force, including troops on the ground, to battle ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Allied special operations forces are also preparing for this military action to take place.

U.S. SOF is already pre-positioned in Iraq and Jordan, but are currently in a holding pattern while they wait for the green light.  Conventional wisdom has it that the White House is waiting until November elections before making a final decision, but this remains to be seen. Both Special Forces and OGA personnel are in Kurdistan, while other SOF elements are very active in Jordan.  Thus far, the Jordanians have been aggressively fighting ISIS incursions along their borders, sometimes employing the use of Cobra gunships, and U.S. Ambassador Alice Wells has been very supportive of the SOF mission in Jordan.

With Naval Special Warfare elements also in Iraq, and other SOF elements forward-deployed and waiting to be sent to Baghdad at a moment’s notice, we’ve seen the chess pieces moving toward open war, even if the decision has not been formally made as of yet.

Meanwhile, Spain has deployed about 300 soldiers to southern Iraq, a third of which will work as instructors alongside host-nation counterparts. With Spanish involvement in Iraq seen as extremely controversial, the political pressure the U.S. and NATO have placed on the Spanish government must have been extreme. With Spanish SOF currently engaged in the Central African Republic, it is unclear if they will be re-deployed to Iraq.