Last week, the Obama Administration announced it will send 200 additional American troops to aid Iraqi forces on the front lines. But Congressman Seth Moulton—who served four tours of duty in Iraq and recently returned from a trip there with a congressional delegation—remains unconvinced that the Administration is making the right steps toward longterm political stability. He joined Jim Braude and Margery Eagan to discuss how the U.S. should move forward in its fight against ISIS, as well as his thoughts on the North-South rail link and more.

MARGERY EAGAN: What do you think about this plan for 200 more troops closer to the front lines?

CONGRESSMAN SETH MOULTON: It’s candidly not what we need to ensure long-term success. This is another example of the administration really missing the problem. The problem is not that we don’t have a military plan to defeat ISIS. We have a good plan, we’ve had one for a while. It’s going pretty well. I went out and saw some of the troops fighting this fight on the front lines . Of course, any general would like to have more troops, but what they really need is a long-term plan to ensure the peace so that after they’re done fighting ISIS, after they’ve defeated ISIS the same way we defeated Al Qaeda in Iraq seven or eight years ago, we actually have a plan so we can hold the peace and we don’t have to send the troops back yet again.

EAGAN: So why is the Obama Administration doing this?

MOULTON: I don’t really know, to be frank. What we heard from most of the frontline commanders is they have the resources they need. They could move faster against ISIS if they had more American troops, but if they do that they might well outpace the Iraqis. Ultimately we want the Iraqis to do the heavy lifting here. What we heard across the spectrum, from the commanders and the front line troops, the Iraqis—the Iraqi sheiks, for example, who are bearing some of the burden of this fight out in Anbar Province—and of course from the State Department in Baghdad.

When I went back to Iraq in 2007 for my 4th tour, I heard the exact same plan. It even was the same towns. We're literally refighting the same battles we fought 7 or 8 years ago.

They need political assistance, they need to be able to push the Iraqi government in the right direction. They need to be able to hold the Iraqis accountable for political progress while our troops are making military progress on the ground.

JIM BRAUDE: When you talk to generals, people who have been in harm's way like you were four times, do they disagree with you or are they beholden to a president with a different path? What do they say to you? 

MOULTON: To be honest I haven’t found a single general who’s disagreed with me. Many of them say, 'look, it’s not my job to figure out the political plan. That’s at a higher strategic level.' I don’t disagree with that assessment. But they’ll all say it's frustrating to not know what the endgame is.

We had one general come in and give us a briefing about their progress out in Anbar Province. At the end of the briefing, I said to him: ‘with all due respect, General, I can’t tell the difference from your briefing if this is 2016 or 2007. Because when I went back to Iraq in 2007 for my 4th tour, I heard the exact same plan. It even was the same towns. We’re literally refighting the same battles we fought 7 or 8 years ago. So what’s going to be different this time? How are going to ensure that our victory is lasting and we don’t have to keep sending troops back to Iraq every 5 or 6 years? Unfortunately, the general didn’t really have an answer to that question.

To hear more from Congressman Seth Moulton, tune in to Boston Public Radio above. This transcript has been edited and condensed for clarity.