When history remembers military blunders it will surely recall the Obama administration. The complete withdrawal of ground troops from Iraq will be studied at the strategic level for decades — since the ramifications may last that long. The dismissal of geopolitical threats such as Russia along with the disregard of a reconstituted Islamic jihadist force will provide case studies at War Colleges for years. But what may be something that goes down in history right there with President Kennedy’s Bay of Pigs fiasco just happened in Syria, yep, like Ricky Bobby would say, “that just happened.”
As reported by Fox News, “The Pentagon is overhauling its plan to train and equip a fighting force of moderate Syrian rebels against ISIS after many of the program’s first 54 graduates were attacked and a number of its fighters captured in late July, according to a published report.
The New York Times, citing four Defense Department and Obama administration officials briefed on the issue, reported late Sunday that the Pentagon is now considering several changes aimed at improving the program’s effectiveness. Those proposals include enlarging the size of the groups sent into Syria, dropping them in places where they have local support, and improving the intelligence the fighters are given. The $500 million train-and-equip initiative — $42 million has been spent to date — run by U.S. Special Forces in Turkey, was announced by President Obama in June of last year. However, the program didn’t actually begin until May of this year.
Many would-be volunteers for the program were rejected out of hand due to extremist affiliations or physical issues. In late June, the Associated Press reported that of approximately 6,000 volunteers, about 1,500 have passed muster and await movement to training camps in other countries. In the same report, the AP said that fewer than 100 people had actually taken part in the training. The 54 who were deployed in July were supplied by the Syrian opposition group Division 30.
The Times, citing a Syrian Army defector who joined the rebels early in Syria’s long-running civil war, reported that around a dozen of the 54 were detained by the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front when they returned to Syria to visit their families. Eight others, including two of the group’s commanders, were captured after they tried to meet with Nusra Front leaders and inform them that the trainees were only interested in fighting ISIS. They next day, the Nusra Front attacked Division 30’s base in northwestern Syria. An unknown number of trainees were killed and injured, and the battle only ended when an American drone struck the attacking fighters. “The Americans made the mistake,” the defector said. “You can’t send in a group that small into Syria.”
Let me ask a simple question: how hard do you think it will be to convince anyone else to volunteer for another Obama suicide mission? What individual thought you could properly train anyone to conduct covert operations in less than 90 days? And what is even more telling is that it wasn’t ISIS who took action against these trainees — it was the Al Nusra Front, another reincarnation of the once defeated al-Qaida in Iraq.
Consider this, in the early days of our combat in Afghanistan, deployed U.S. Army Special Forces teams — trained in foreign internal defense (FID) — were able to link up with the Northern Alliance, and with the assistance of superior air power, brought a Taliban Army of some 60,000 to their knees in around 90 days.
Why won’t the Obama administration use that model to conduct effective counter-jihadist offensive operations? Once again we have an administration going through the motions, presenting the facade of doing something with the end results being an abject failure — at the expense of the American taxpayer — $42 million blown.
What was going through the mind of national security advisor Susan Rice to believe that 54 fellas would make a dent in what has now degraded into complete chaos in Syria? As well, where was our HUMINT (human intelligence) to preclude these men from being fodder for the Nusra Front?
There’s such a void of strategy in the Middle East (where the president’s policy was to disengage) — and the present migration is a direct result of the folly of the Obama administration. It must be apparent to everyone that the objective for Barack Obama is just to smile lots and ride this one out.
This mess will be passed on to the next president and depending on who it is, there are two options — continue the Obama policy (or lack of policy) or actually articulate to the American people a plan, a strategy, and evidence results.
Yesterday the Obama White House announced it would take in 10,000 Syrian refugees, yesterday we shared some numbers on Middle East refugees entering America from 2008-2013. It’s not only a national security concern but also an economic security concern.
So yes, since we didn’t engage them there, we will have to engage them here — both by the choice of this current presidential administration.
The Syrian defector stated that “America made a mistake. Yes sir, we certainly did, twice, in 2008 and 2012 and sadly many are paying dearly for that enchantment with “hope and change.”
And what is further maddening, Obama wants to provide material support and comfort to the country that is the number one state sponsor of Islamic terrorism while he is degrading our own military capability and capacity. Last year we were told the strategy was to arm, train, and equip a Syrian rebel force. Fifty-four were given some half-assed preparations — and I do not blame our Special Operators one bit — and sent to their deaths. I would somehow hope Americans will read this and next time Obama flashes his big smile realize he’s stabbing his own country in the back.
Today is September 11th, another day that will live in infamy. Just remember that today, members of the U.S. House of Representatives are voting to disapprove a resolution to give Iran hundreds of billions of dollars. Everyone voting against the resolution of disapproval is doing no different to America than what was done to those 54 men: sacrificing them on the funeral pyre of liberal progressive politics.