It’s Good For America and Israel, Not Russia, To Stop The CIA From Funding Syrian Jihadists

STOP giving money and weapons to violent Muslims in enemy countries!

The latest batch of horse manure peddled by the mainstream media came after yet another anonymous leak from within the intelligence community to the Washington Post. On Wednesday last week, the Post reported that President Trump had ordered the Central Intelligence Agency to stop arming and training the rebels fighting Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

The decision likely occurred last month, during a meeting in the Oval Office that included national security advisor H.R. McMaster and CIA Director Mike Pompeo. This was several weeks before a July 7 meeting that Trump was set to have with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who backs the Assad regime.

That meeting between Trump and Putin resulted in the announcement of a ceasefire in southwest Syria, along the Jordanian border, where many of the CIA-backed “rebels” have been operating. The Post went on to report that the Jordanians were on board with the decision, and that the ceasefire was not predicated on ending the CIA program.

First, we have spent years arming so-called “moderate” rebels in Syria to the tune of $1 billion per year, with little to show for it. That amounts to $1 out of every $15 in the CIA budget, as estimated by the Washington Post, and $100,000 for every anti-Assad rebel who has gone through the CIA’s training program.

Note that just because the CIA has trained and armed a rebel does not mean the rebel actually showed up in the field to fight Assad. In 2014, for example, a special program sought to train 15,000 rebels in Jordan and other countries before returning the rebels to Syria. Only “four or five” of the recruits in the program actually returned to Syria to fight. It is likely that most of the other “rebels” turned tail and sold their expensive American weapons to jihadists, including ISIS.

Even Adam Schiff, the head Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee and a modern-day Joe McCarthy, was quoted in a Post story from 2015 as highly skeptical of the CIA program’s efficacy. All the way back in 2015 this skepticism was bipartisan, at least in the House.

Second, the groups we were actively funding in Syria were many times far from being “moderate.” Several U.S.-backed rebels have had ties to Jabhat-al Nusra, or the Nusra Front, an offshoot of al-Qaeda. Even a former U.S. official who supports the CIA’s program lamented in a 2015 interview with the BBC that the rebels were not “ideologically pure,” and noted that “in wars like [this], there is no black and white.” Worse, as part of the CIA’s program, the United States even kept groups that were affiliated with al-Qaeda—terrorist groups by any clear definition of the word—off the United Nations terrorist list, solely because these groups were receiving U.S. support.

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