October 9, 2015

Hillary Clinton-Backed Syrian Rebel Program Ended Due To Failure

Due to overwhelming failure, it was revealed the Obama administration has ended its Syrian rebel program, which cost $500 million and was intended to “train and equip Syrian rebels”:

The Obama administration has ended the Pentagon’s $500 million program to train and equip Syrian rebels, administration officials said on Friday, in an acknowledgment that the beleaguered program had failed to produce any kind of ground combat forces capable of taking on the Islamic State in Syria.

The change makes official what those in the Pentagon and elsewhere in the administration have been saying for several weeks would most likely happen, particularly in the wake of revelations that the program at one point last month had only “four or five” trainees in the fight in Syria – a far cry from the plan formally started in December to prepare as many as 5,400 fighters this year, and 15,000 over the next three years.

The Associated Press reported the program “has been beset by a series of embarrassing setbacks”:

The $500 million training program has been beset by a series of embarrassing setbacks. The first group of trainees largely disbanded soon after they were sent into combat; some were captured or killed, while others fled. A second class yielded only a small number of new fighters, drawing criticism from U.S. lawmakers who condemned the program as a joke and a failure.

As the nation’s top diplomat, Hillary Clinton supported the training and equipping of certain Syrian rebels, even writing about it in her memoir, Hard Choices:

As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton advocated early on for training and equipping moderate Syrian rebels to help fight Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria. …

Clinton wrote extensively about her advocacy for a train-and-equip program in her 2014 memoir, “Hard Choices.” “There are real risks to such an approach,” she said in the book, citing the Afghan rebels the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Pakistan armed during the Soviet-Afghan War in the 1980s who later formed al Qaeda.

“But if rebels could be vetted and trained effectively, it would be helpful in a number of ways. First, even a relatively small group might be able to give a big psychological boost to the opposition and convince Assad’s backers to consider a political solution,” she wrote.

This is yet another example of Hillary Clinton’s failed tenure as Secretary of State.