Senators Criticize Pentagon for Discussing Mosul Operation

Two senior Republican senators blasted the Defense Department on Friday for outlining details of the forthcoming Iraqi assault on Islamic State extremist forces in Mosul.

In a letter to President Barack Obama, Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said that an official from U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East, provided too much information about the coalition’s planned assault on Mosul next year at a Thursday news briefing.

Mr. McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Mr. Graham, a member of the panel, wrote they could not recall another instance where the military has “briefed our own war plans to our enemies.”

“These disclosures not only risk the success of our mission, but could also cost the lives of U.S., Iraqi, and coalition forces,” the senators wrote. They asked in the letter for the name of the official who gave the briefing and asked whether it was approved by the White House.

A defense official said the Pentagon was aware of the senators’ concerns and would respond quickly.

“There was no White House involvement in — or prior knowledge of — the background briefing in question,” the official said…

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