The U.S. has committed "just" 300 "advisors" -- of which about half are already on the ground. The foot in the door . . . .
Today came the announcement that armed drones are now "supporting" the work of those advisors in Baghdad -- "protecting" them.
In other words, the U.S. can get more "bang for the buck" out of each pair of boots it puts on the ground, because -- through the magic of robotics -- it can back up those boots with Hellfire missiles and 500-lb. bombs.
For the folks back home, it helps maintain the illusion that the U.S. isn't really intervening in a way that risks escalation.
Make no mistake: whereas the Bush administration went into Iraq without a clue about how it was all going to play out, the Obama administration knows exactly what it's doing. When you see "advisers . . . oh, yes, er . . . advisers supported by drones" piling into Iraq, you can be sure the U.S. is setting itself up to be there calling the shots for a long time to come.
(See "Why focus on drone attacks?")
(See Military Advisers to Iraq: What Could Go Wrong? )
The United States perpetuates a state of permanent war. The names change -- hell, sometimes they change by just a single letter -- but the result is the same. Call it "permawar."