What could go wrong?
The Obama administration has come up with another new 'strategy
' for Syria.
Instead of fighting the Islamic State in small units, the
U.S.-trained rebels would be attached to larger existing Kurdish and
Arab forces. They would be equipped with U.S. communications gear and
trained to provide intelligence and to designate Islamic State targets
for airstrikes in coordination with U.S. troops outside of Syria, the
The change amounts to an acknowledgment that the administration’s
current approach is not working. It was described by officials who spoke
on condition of anonymity because a final decision on how to proceed
has not been made.
The discussion of a new approach comes a day after the head of U.S.
Central Command, Gen. Lloyd Austin, told Congress that the $500 million
effort to train 5,000 moderate Syrian rebels in a year had yielded “four
or five” new fighters after another 50 or so were captured, wounded or
fled in their first encounter with extremist militants.
The new approach is designed to intensify military pressure on Raqqa,
the self-declared capital of the so-called caliphate the Islamic State
has established across much of Syria and Iraq. The city is sometimes
targeted by American-led coalition airstrikes, and Syrian government
forces have occasionally targeted it as well.
In addition to changing the role of the U.S.-trained rebels, the
Pentagon would scale back their numbers from the original target of
5,400 per year to a much smaller total, perhaps 500, the officials said.
Their vetting, designed to weed out terrorist infiltrators, also would
be streamlined, one official said Thursday.
Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook told reporters Thursday that
officials are looking to make “adjustments,” adding, “We’re asking a
host of questions about this program.” He said the plan is for it to
continue “in some form or fashion.” He was not more specific.
Because Obama would rather that the United States not have an army.
What could go wrong?
Labels: Barack Hussein Obama, Bashar al-Assad, ISIS, Islamic State, Nusra Front, Syrian Kurds, Syrian uprising