Sunday, September 21, 2014

Obama Taps Star General To Build Syrian Rebel Army to Fight ISIS

It is about time.  A couple of comments.

First, Mike is the first career Special Forces officer who has been given overall command of an operation in the Middle East/South Asia since 9-11. There probably no one better qualified from any branch to do this.

Second, I hope that his mission is not only a train and equip program but that he is allowed to orchestrate a campaign in Syria that is based on unconventional warfare.  Congressmen should be demanding a comprehensive UW campaign based on this excerpt:

“They can show you lots of information on who they trained, where they came from and what kind of gear we gave them,” one lawmaker told The Daily Beast about the CIA training program. “But they can’t tell you what happens to them once they cross the border into Syria.” This lawmaker said this is because Obama has opposed embedding any U.S. personnel inside the opposition units once they are trained. “This is like throwing a bunch of guns over the border and saying, ‘Good Luck.’” 

If they do that and a comprehensive UW campaign turns out to not be feasible I am sure that Mike will so inform the leadership.  But a train and equip program is insufficient to accomplish our strategic objectives.

Staff Sgt. Horace Murray

WORLD NEWS

 
09.21.14

Obama Taps Star General To Build Syrian Rebel Army to Fight ISIS

General Michael Nagata is promising to build a new force to destroy ISIS but lawmakers worry he has been given an impossible mission.
As lawmakers prepared to take a risky and fateful vote on Obama’s plan to train and equip the Syrian rebels, the man who assured them it could be done was Gen. Michael Nagata, Obama’s point man for the mission to build an ISIS-killing army in Syria.
There are skeptics both inside and outside the government who doubt Obama’s new plan to arm the Syrian rebels can work. First of all, the administration has said for years that the moderate opposition can’t be a reliable partner for the United States in Syria. Only last month, Obama said that the rag-tag bunch of “former doctors, farmers, and pharmacists” could never win their civil war and the whole idea that arming them earlier would have made a difference has “always been a fantasy.”
Then Obama made a complete reversal, announced that portions of the Free Syrian Army were now vetted enough to help the U.S. fight against ISIS, and called on Congress to vote to give him authority train and arm them. Congress went along, but only after hearing from Nagata, who briefed both House and Senate members and staffers in classified settings and told them how he would get it done. Those briefed said they were impressed by the General but remained concerned Obama’s plan was fatally flawed.
Nagata has experience in the area. U.S. military officials say Nagata helped devise much of U.S. special operations support for Jordan. These officials also say Nagata also has worked on plans with the CIA at the secret Jordanian base used to train up Syrian rebels under the still secret but well reported joint DOD-CIA program that began in 2012. Nagata is currently in charge of special operations command for Central Command, the military command that includes Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran. 
Lawmakers who have been briefed on the new Syrian train and equip program—which unlike the old one is entirely under military command as opposed to the CIA—raised concerns that it will suffer from the same flaws as the CIA program that began in 2012. 
“They can show you lots of information on who they trained, where they came from and what kind of gear we gave them,” one lawmaker told The Daily Beast about the CIA training program. “But they can’t tell you what happens to them once they cross the border into Syria.” This lawmaker said this is because Obama has opposed embedding any U.S. personnel inside the opposition units once they are trained. “This is like throwing a bunch of guns over the border and saying, ‘Good Luck.’” 
So far, according to this lawmaker, the CIA has trained no more than 3,000 rebels since 2012 out of the Jordanian base. 
(Continued at the link below)

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