Our crazy foreign policy that attacks fighters against ISIS will leave a trail of suffering and torture.
After amazing government waste and incompetence in Syria, we now suddenly have a new plan that is sure to work better . (It is difficult to imagine anything working worse!) But the new plan is completely contradictory!
The Associated Press reports, “Pentagon giving up on building new Syrian rebel force.”
The U.S. is abandoning its goal of training a new force of moderate Syrian rebels and will focus on equipping, arming and supporting established rebels groups already fighting against the Islamic State group inside Syria, officials said Friday.
The change reflects the failure of the current approach, which has produced only a handful of combat-ready moderate rebels and drawn widespread criticism in Congress.
Officials briefed on the new approach said it would focus heavily on equipping and enabling established Kurdish and Arab rebel groups rather than recruiting and vetting a new cadre of moderate rebels, training them at camps in Turkey and Jordan and re-inserting them as an infantry force into Syria. The $500 million Congress provided last year for the program will be used more for equipping select rebel groups inside Syria, with limited training activity.
So why didn’t we do this in the first place? If there were already “good guys” fighting ISIS with some competence, it seems much more sensible to offer them help than to insist on basically trying to create our own personal army in Syria.
Oh, maybe this is not so hard to understand.
Maybe creating our own program for building a U.S. army of foreign mercenaries soldiers was higher on the agenda than doing our best to efficiently empower the war against ISIS.
And now that we are going for a better plan, the story openly admits that we are, almost literally, fighting against ourselves.
The CIA runs a separate, covert program run that began in 2013 to arm, fund and train a moderate opposition to Syrian President Bashar Assad. U.S. officials say that effort is having more success with its goals, than the one run by the military, which only trained militants willing to promise to take on the Islamic State exclusively.
That is insane. One of the most powerful forces that can oppose ISIS in the area is the military of Bashar al-Assad. Everything we do to weaken Assad in Syria is a gift to ISIS. That is true in the best case scenario if we assume the CIA is really funding moderates. But the evidence strongly indicates that the rebels we fund work in alliance with ISIS (see also this).
This makes no sense, unless the Administration is merely posing as an enemy of ISIS while it’s only real priority is Assad. You will have to decide for yourselves whether to accept a conspiracy theory or a story of mere government incompetence. Both seem credible to me.