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The United States has decided on an incredibly dangerous and irresponsible new
train-and-equip program for rebels in Syria that places guided missiles on the battlefield.
I favored in my recent posts shutting down a rebel training program that amounts to throwing good money after bad [and that] isn’t a sound strategy that will advance U.S. interests or bring the conflicts endgame any closer to fruition. The next step should be investigative hearings in Congress to identify its failings. In the meantime, the government has decided to expose Syria to evermore advanced weaponry in an effort to fight a proxy war against Russia. Is there any limit to what advanced hardware we’re willing to let fall in the hands of terrorists?
The move comes as an increasingly violent tit-for-tat exchange between the powers in Syria comes to the fore. The Islamist military coalition, Army of Conquest (Jaish al-Fatah), was agreed upon in the aftermath of a Turkish-Saudi agreement that put their differences aside to coordinate their proxy forces. This was particularly effective in Idlib, a province Ahrar ash-Sham turned over to Al Qaeda for Sharia governance. Integrating northern insurgent forces increased the Islamist coalitions capacity for success against “moderate rebels”, compelling the FSA to cooperate more deeply with Al-Nusra front or face military hostilities. It was reported that the FSA, having acquired significant weaponry from the United States, has given significant amounts of it to the terrorist organization.
In recent weeks the Russian Air force arrived in Syria to reinforce a fresh offensive by the Syrian Armed Forces against rebel enclaves in Western Syria, where Jahbat al- Nusra (Al Qaeda in Syria) and it’s associates have made advances in the country’s Civil War. The entry of Russian military power was the resistance blocs response. It was strongly condemned by the United States and its allies, who have been forced to change their military strategy by the loss of the skies and the crumbling of the American train-and-equip program. Jordan pulled out as host to the program in the south in fear that it would lead to a terrorist state on its border, which would buttress Jordan’s own Islamists who seek the overthrow of the monarchy. The United States is now employing its Afghan strategy from the 1980s, ramping up its equipping already existing militant groups rather than creating new ones. There is no way to know how long this hardware will remain in the hands of our “moderate friends”, and where they will move after they leave Syria.
The reliance on Islamists to weaken secular governments in the region is of deepening concern to Russia as these terrorist organizations drift closer to their border. It should be of concern to the United States as well. Our strategy is unintelligible, the possible reprecussions down the road alarming, and our motives particularly odious.
What are we trying to accomplish exactly? It can only be surmised that we seek regime change by any group available. Eventually it is the government’s hope that Assad will leave and the remaining elements of the military will join with our rebels, turn on Al Qaeda in exchange for greater support, defeat them and then fight ISIS. Is it so crazy it just might work? No.