Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardProgressives breathe sigh of relief after Afghan withdrawal Hillicon Valley: US has made progress on cyber but more needed, report says | Democrat urges changes for 'problematic' crypto language in infrastructure bill | Facebook may be forced to unwind Giphy acquisition YouTube rival Rumble strikes deals with Tulsi Gabbard, Glenn Greenwald MORE (D-Hawaii) said Monday she was "mind-boggled" by the Pentagon's briefing last week of an upcoming military plan to retake Mosul from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Pentagon officials at a Thursday briefing gave defense reporters details about the planned operation, angering Republican Sens. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainCollins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Meghan McCain: Country has not 'healed' from Trump under Biden Biden steps onto global stage with high-stakes UN speech MORE (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden meets with lawmakers amid domestic agenda panic The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - House Democrats plagued by Biden agenda troubles Graham tries to help Trump and McConnell bury the hatchet MORE (R-S.C.), who said it risked the success of the mission.
"I was similarly mind-boggled and didn't understand at all how this could be part of a strategic plan in what they're talking about," Gabbard, a captain in the Hawaii Army National Guard and Iraq War veteran, said on CNN.
"That you're not only outlining the timeline — which is troubling, but you're also talking about specifically how many troops, how many brigades, where they're coming from, and what they're going to be doing," she added.
Military officials at the briefing said the offensive was planned for around April or May and would take around 20,000 to 25,000 troops, and described how Iraqi forces planned to approach the city, which ISIS seized in June.
Pentagon officials said Monday that the briefing did not reveal anything that wasn't spoken about publicly before or that was sensitive, but Gabbard said "it was no excuse."
She also said the White House needed to shift its strategy against ISIS but did not elaborate.
"We need to shift our strategy, so I'm going to keep working on it," she said. "We have to stop them in their tracks and defeat them militarily and ideologically."
The Hawaii Democrat has been at odds with the administration over its strategy against ISIS, calling for the administration to arm Kurdish forces directly and acknowledge that the war is against Islamic extremists.
"The reason why I feel so strongly about this is personally, is because it comes from my own experience at having served in Iraq," she said.
"I served in a medical unit, where I saw the cost of war every single day and understand the need to make sure we don’t make the same mistakes again," she said.
"This is an issue that transcends partisan politics," she said. "It's something that we need to have a vigorous debate and dialogue on."