A top U.S. military commander for operations in the Middle East acknowledged on Wednesday that there are only four or five fighters left from the first group of 54 Syrian fighters that had been trained by the U.S. as part of a $500 million program.
By way of comparison, Planned Parenthood is able to kill several hundred thousand babies each year for $500 million.
Until now, the U.S. has declined to say how many of that group of trained Syrian rebels remained in the fight. And Austin’s revelation that it’s only a handful only further inflamed the lawmakers’ criticism.
The committee’s chairman, Republican [mc_name name=’Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000303′ ], called the U.S. strategy against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria a debacle. He said assessments by Austin and Pentagon that the U.S. strategy is working is “divorced from reality.”
And other senators focused directly on the stumbling training effort that takes months to identify and screen Syrian rebels for the program and has lagged far behind original goals.
“We have to acknowledge this is a total failure,” said [mc_name name=’Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’S001141′ ], R-Ala., said about the training. “I wish it weren’t so, but that’s the fact.”
I’ve long been impressed with the monumental incompetence of the Obama administration in dealing with most any activity that doesn’t involve killing innocents or persecuting political opponents. So here I’m not sure that I’m impressed that they kicked off a civil war in Syria that killed or displaced millions of people or appalled that they spent $500 million and counting to train “four or five” soldiers. As an aside, once the number has dropped down to “four or five” should you be able to get an accurate count?
There are about twice as many members of the Wu-Tang Clan as there are US-trained Syrian rebels fighting ISIS. http://t.co/pu8wlQ5qJf
— Spencer Ackerman (@attackerman) September 16, 2015
Allegedly there are 100-120 (again, can’t you count them? It isn’t like they are like grains of sand on a beach.) additional fighters in training. One is baffled, though, at both the futility and immorality of training these people so they can be killed by either the Iranians (who are apparently our allies these days) or by the Russian troops sent in to shore up Assad, assuming Assad’s troops don’t shoot or gas them.