As the utterly pointless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan drag on, going on 16 years after 9/11, the U.S. has finally moved to cut some of the bureaucratic red tape that’s prevented our troops from getting the job done for the past eight years:

Just a few months ago, Lt. Col. Browning’s phone conversation would have been impossible. Rather than request assistance directly, his call would have likely been routed through a joint command center much farther from the battle zone.

In the fight against ISIS in Mosul, the United States has adjusted its rules of engagement as American and other international troops are now closer to front-line fighting than before. During the push to take Mosul International Airport on Thursday, American and European advisers were embedded with forward Iraqi rapid response and special forces units.
Coalition officials say the changes are helping speed up Iraqi military gains, but they mark a steady escalation of U.S. involvement in Iraq that also reflects lingering shortcomings on the part of Iraq’s armed forces and growing political and military pressure to finish the Mosul operation quickly. This closer relationship is new.
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