Syria

"Obama Close to Authorizing Military Training of Syrian Rebels"

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Remind me: Where have we seen this sort of tip-toe routine before? Was it here?

Reader Ken Constantino emailed this tip our Hit & Run box with the succinct phrase "Shit" in the text field.

Via the Wall Street Journal comes this news:

In a commencement address at the United States Military Academy at West Point on Wednesday, Mr. Obama will signal backing for the new training effort by saying he intends to increase support to the armed Syrian opposition, including by providing them with training. Mr. Obama isn't expected to provide details about how, or where, that training would be accomplished.

"The president will make clear his intention to expand our support to the moderate Syrian operation and increase our support to Syria's neighbors, who are dealing with the terrorist threats emanating from the situation Assad has created in Syria," a senior administration official said….

Under a new arrangement still under discussion within the administration, the U.S. military would overtly conduct most of the training, and the CIA would take the lead in providing arms covertly.

Defense officials say legislation would be required to authorize the military to conduct a training program for the opposition. Last week, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved such a measure, authorizing the Pentagon to provide equipment, training and supplies to aid vetted members of the Syrian opposition.

Read the whole thing.

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  1. What could possibly go wrong?

    1. We might fail to completely choke off the supply lines of the Ho Chi Minh Trail?

  2. the moderate Syrian operation

    Are there any left? Who are they, and what counts as “moderate”?

    and increase our support to Syria’s neighbors

    That would be Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. I thought we were winding down in Iraq, that Turkey was kicking us in the balls every chance they get (and probably doesn’t need out help policing the border anyway), and that big chunks of Lebanon are effectively run by Hezbollah.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    1. “Who are they, and what counts as “moderate”?”

      “… to provide equipment, training and supplies to aid vetted members of the Syrian opposition.”

      And what exactly does vetted mean in this case? Not actually attacking the U.S. at this very moment?

      1. “And what exactly does vetted mean in this case? Not actually attacking the U.S. at this very moment?”

        I THINK YOU HAVE IT!

        /CIA

    2. I’m sure Obama will be super-careful to throw enormous bundles of money only at Syrian rebels who pinky-swear that they have never been affiliated with al Qaeda or Hezbollah.

  3. You mean the CIA isn’t already training these rebels?

  4. You know, it’s one thing to pursue a policy that history has proven time and again to be sure road to disastrous quagmire. But Obama’s approach to everything of just poking the tip in and hoping nobody notices is at once baffling and infuriating. If you’re gonna do something that anybody with two brain cells to rub together will tell you is retarded, just go for it.

    1. a policy that history has proven time and again to be sure road to disastrous quagmire.

      Er he’s only training them not actually going in there. Not a good idea but it’s not a straight-shot to Vietnam.

      1. Viet Nam started for the US when attacks on “advisors” became frequent enough to justify active, direct military intervention. Originally the point was to protect the Americans who were attached to ARVN details as advisors and trainers.

        If they don’t train in Syria, where will they train? Decamp to Turkey? I don’t think Iraq will let us do it there. Any way you cut it, there will be American personnel within easy striking distance of the Syrian government and/or the “bad” rebels.

        1. Which is the problem. Once American personnel are inevitably killed, it will be a new justification for war in Syria. The only way to not have American Personnel killed, is to stay out. Unless the goal is to destabilize the middle east even more (if that’s possible), I can’t see any reason for any involvement.

  5. So we’re training al Qaeda some more? Just what was going on in Benghazi again?

    1. Hey man, forever wars don’t wage themselves.

      1. You know, I’m not really a cynic by nature, but my skepticism about the government is reaching the point where I don’t believe anything it says anymore. I mean, I’m dubious about whether yesterday actually was Memorial Day.

        1. Holidays only happen if you celebrate them, ProLib. Yesterday was Monday in the Akston home.

  6. I hope the plan is not to start by sending a lightly guarded US Ambassador to a rebel stronghold.

    1. Only after we drop some bombs on the region.

  7. So, after two years of hemming and hawing and “study”, as the johnny rebs are in full retreat, he decides to start training and arming the rebs. So, as they retreat into Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, they’ll have some nice training and fresh weapons from Uncle Obama to destabilize those countries.

    I think this was foretold in the prophecies.

    1. Yup. And, of course, the “moderate” rebels have been subjugated or even wiped out by the Islamists at this point. If he had acted fast years ago it might have worked to overthrow Assad and establish a less-awful government, but now the chances of a good outcome are very slim.

    2. he johnny rebs are in full retreat

      That is not true. The rebs are in retreat in central Syria but they are advancing in areas of Northern Syria.

      the “moderate” rebels have been subjugated or even wiped out by the Islamists at this point.

      That is also not true. The ‘moderate’ FSA was a while ago becoming a side show but now ISIS is getting battered and the Islamists are kind of falling apart. The FSA has had a resurgence.

      1. Hmm, OK. I haven’t followed the war recently. I figured that, as usual, once the “Bolsheviks” got the upper hand, the “Mensheviks” and the rest were doomed.

      2. We must be looking at different maps. Based on what I’m seeing, which may or may not be the most up-to-date info, most of the country is controlled by the regime. The ISIL controls most of the rest, with the Kurds holding parts of the north and the rest of the rebels holding a slice of the east, northwest, and some areas around Damascus. Of all the groups they appear to have the least control.

  8. Kennedy agrees to send instructors to train troops

    Following a meeting between President John F. Kennedy and South Vietnam envoy Nguyen Dinh Thuan, an agreement is reached for direct training and combat supervision of Vietnamese troops by U.S. instructors.

    1. You know, given the history of such things, perhaps we should never train anyone who isn’t a total ally. I mean, training Canadians, okay. Training rebels in Syria, not okay.

      Maybe Team America: World Cop should just involve our direct action or nothing. If we simply must play that role.

    2. And Kennedy was absolutely right to do that. There was a Cold War. It was LBJ that put America’s foot in it while hamstringing US military action with absurd restrictions.

      1. It was LBJ that put America’s foot in it while hamstringing US military action with absurd restrictions.

        It was the only way a police action of that type could go.

        Either go to war, or don’t go to war.

        1. Exactly.

        2. By war, do you mean total war?

      2. It was LBJ that put America’s foot in it while hamstringing US military action with absurd restrictions.

        So Obama is laying the ground work for Hilary….

        And Kennedy was absolutely right to do that. There was a Cold War.

        How about Obama doing it in Syria which is a civil war not a cold war? If Kennedy doing the right thing by training troops for the corrupt and murderous south Vietnam government and it turning to complete shit what the are the chances for it turning out well for Obama in Syria?

  9. And once we get ’em trained, we supply ’em with weapons and munitions and communications gear and send over troops to train the rebels how to use the stuff. And after that we build logistics bases and transport to deliver munitions and supplies and we provide troops to secure the transport and guard the bases.

    Then, if things don’t go the right way quick enough, we send over a jest a few of our boys to “nail that coonskin to the wall”. Yeehaw, go git ’em!

    1. Git em! Send ole Cooter n Billy Bob over thar……

  10. This is a bad idea not just for the obvious reasons but for one above all. Even the genuinely non-Islamist moderate fighters are opposed to Kurdistan and may end up fighting the Kurds trying to carve out their own homeland. The notion that America may end up augmenting anti-Kurdish forces makes me angry.

    1. The Kurds want to use Eminent Domain, I can’t really support such a farcical idea.

      Next thing you know they’ll have their sights on the West Bank.

      1. …what?

  11. At least they’re not Contras.

  12. As long as we only train the People’s Front of Syria and not those wanker splitters the Syrian People’s Front.

  13. It doesn’t matter to those in power. NO ONE suffers no matter what they do (other than the kids who get tricked into joining the military in order to “protect our freedom.”)

    Look at the whole NSA/Snowden brouhaha! Did even a GS-9 secretary lose his or her job? Did Clapper even get a slap on the wrist for lying to Congress? Has a single bozo who was in favor of the NSA spying lose a primary yet?

    1. It’s frankly stunned me that the NSA didn’t have a massive purge after one guy walked off with everything. That should’ve been impossible.

      1. All government agencies have become like academia: Your job essentially has tenure.

        1. What a wise idea that is! Madness.

      2. Purge? Surely you jest. Failure of policy is clear evidence that we need to do the same thing again, only bigger!

  14. This is gonna be awesome!

  15. the terrorist threats emanating from the situation Assad has created in Syria

    Interesting weasel wording! It allows Assad to be blamed for being too weak, too strong, or just there, and having enemies…or friends. So anyone who’s in some nominal way against Assad can be built up as an ally.

    Or maybe the State Dept. just likes to fuck with people. There is no way Obama has any idea what he’s doing here. He’ll accede to their worst tendencies. The British might as well be running it…and maybe they are.

  16. Training terrorists is just business as usual and the public doesn’t blink. I have no idea what it would take to “wake” the public up.

    1. Maybe if we can put political messages in FarmVille…

  17. They just can’t learn their fucking lesson,
    Mujahideen CIA bedding in the 80s, remember how that panned out for Uncle Sam?
    Not to mention the countless coups and adventures the US dabbled in,
    So if in 20 years (or sooner) we are reaping what we sowed by helping these mujahideen, what can we expect to happen? If history be our teacher then it doesn’t bode too well for us.

  18. So will Obo ask for an early discharge when he shoots himself in the foot this time?
    And is the image on the home page supposed to look like Patton?

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