500 million taxpayer dollar$ training Syrians to fight ISIS ain’t exactly a success

Is this part of their training?

Only four or five Syrian individuals trained by the United States military to confront the Islamic State remain in the fight, the head of the United States Central Command told a Senate panel on Wednesday, a bleak acknowledgment that the Defense Department’s $500 million program to raise an army of Syrian fighters has gone nowhere.

Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, the top American commander in the Middle East, also told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the United States would not reach its goal of training 5,000 Syrian fighters anytime soon.

His comments came during a testy hearing in which a succession of senators from both parties criticized the American-led effort in Iraq and Syria against the Islamic State, the Sunni militancy also known as ISIS or ISIL…

In May, the Defense Department began its training program for up to 5,400 fighters a year, in what White House officials described as a necessary component of President Obama’s strategy to use local troops on the ground against the Islamic State, combined with American air power.

…General Austin told the Senate committee that many fighters in the first class of 54 graduates of the training program for Syrians were attacked in July by an offshoot of Al Qaeda, the Nusra Front, and either fled or were killed…

He acknowledged that the program was behind schedule, and said that the military was reviewing it. Asked how many fighters were still in Syria, General Austin said that “it’s a small number.” He added, “We’re talking four or five.”…

“So we’re counting on our fingers and toes at this point when we had envisioned 5,400 by the end of the year,” Senator Claire McCaskill said.

Actually, we only need the fingers on one hand – or the toes on one foot.

$500 million for 4 or 5 fighters still in the game. Tell you what, Mr. President. I’ll need more than my social security check. Give me $100 million and I’ll go over and fight as an American civilian senior citizen.

Airfare, new military duds, snazzy firepower – I’d really like one of those $5000 sniper rifles – enough to hire a couple gangbangers to cover my butt.. I could get into action for less than $100K. I’d leave the rest of the money behind to fund education for school kids here in New Mexico. I’d fight for them.

13 thoughts on “500 million taxpayer dollar$ training Syrians to fight ISIS ain’t exactly a success

  1. Caïssa says:

    “US Syria Strategy Officially Unravels: Kerry Admits Timetable For Assad Exit Is Completely Unknown” (9/20/15) http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-09-20/us-syria-strategy-officially-unravels-kerry-admits-timetable-assad-exit-completely-u Includes link to Al-Monitor article (9/18) “Why Iran, Saudi Arabia keep locking horns on Syria”, which among other things reports that: “High-level talks are due to take place on Sept. 21 between Iran and Russia to discuss Iran’s “four-point plan” for Syria. A senior Iranian official who spoke on condition of anonymity told Al-Monitor that while the details of the plan were still a work in progress, the first stage aimed to contain and deplete IS, with the second stage focused on reaching consensus over the type of government in control of Damascus and Assad’s future role.” See also ”Football vs. Soccer: American Warfare in an Era of Unconventional Threats.” (2003) http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/documents/footballsoccer.pdf

    • Ко́тов says:

      “The preparation for Russian military deployment in Syria continues” http://www.voltairenet.org/article188680.html “…The Russian Federation is not planning to « reduce » Daesh, but to vanquish all jihadists, whether they claim to be members of the Islamic Emirate, al-Qaïda, the Islamic Front or any other organisation. As a result, everyone now realises that there is no armed anti-government group which is not linked to the jihadists. This is true to the point that the Pentagon recognises that it has no further conatct with the « moderate rebels » which it had formed to fight against Daesh, because all of them without exception have now joined al-Qaïda. The Syrians who had joined with foreign combatants at the beginning of the war have now reintegrated the Republic, via the numerous reconciliation agreements which have been implemented by the government over the last three years, or else have adopted the objectives of the jihadists.” Author also claims: “there is of course a certain amount of political conflict in Syria, there is no civil war. Almost all citizens positioned themselves behind their President el-Assad against the foriegn aggression which threatens the survival of the Levant.” (HT Bubba M)

  2. Rentatenttent says:

    According to the Washington Post, officials frustrated with meager gains against the Islamic State group in Iraq believe they can pressure the militant organization’s Syrian frontlines by “providing arms and ammunition to a wider array of rebel groups.” The option would also likely include a relaxation of a vetting program, and “effectively deepening America’s involvement in the ongoing civil war,” the newspaper reported. http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/US-May-Arm-Wider-Array-of-Syrian-Rebels-20150922-0018.html

  3. Cassandra says:

    Pentagon Warns Of Russia-Iran “Nexus” In Syria: “We Assume Russia Is Coordinating With The Iranians” http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-09-22/pentagon-warns-russia-iran-nexus-syria-we-assume-russia-coordinating-iranians “…with every incremental party entering the Syria conflict, the probability of a non-violent outcome becomes increasingly negligible. And now that the Russians may be coordinating directly with the Iranians, it means that both Israel and Saudi Arabia will be dragged in, whether they like it or not.”

    • Ante up says:

      “Over the weekend, Russia deployed a dozen Su-24 Fencer and a dozen Su-25 Frogfoot ground-attack planes, bringing to 28 the number of warplanes at the base, a senior United States official said on Monday. Until the weekend, the only combat planes there had been four Flanker {Su-27} air-to-air fighters. The deployment of some of Russia’s most advanced ground attack planes and fighter jets as well as multiple air defense systems at the base near the ancestral home of President Bashar al-Assad appears to leave little doubt about Moscow’s goal to establish a military outpost in the Middle East. The planes are protected by at least two or possibly three SA-22 surface-to-air, antiaircraft systems, and unarmed Predator-like surveillance drones are being used to fly reconnaissance missions.” http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/22/world/middleeast/russia-deploys-ground-attack-aircraft-to-syrian-base.html

  4. Arthur Conolly says:

    What is Putin’s end game in Syria? (BBC 9/23/15) http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34330151 “The arrival in Moscow on Monday of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with his army chief of staff and head of military intelligence for unprecedented discussions with the Russian military is a measure of how far the Kremlin’s move deserves that often overused term “game changer”.”

  5. Update says:

    American-trained Syrian fighters gave at least a quarter of their U.S.-provided equipment to al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria early this week, the U.S. Central Command said late Friday. In a statement correcting earlier assertions that reports of the turnover were a “lie” and a militant propaganda ploy, the command said it was subsequently notified that the Syrian unit had voluntarily “surrendered” some of its equipment — including six pickup trucks and a portion of its ammunition — to Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s arm in Syria. The acknowledgment is the latest discouraging report regarding the $500 million train-and-equip program, which Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, head of Central Command, said last week had only “four or five” trained Syrian fighters active in Syria. Since then, the military has said approximately 70 fighters have been added. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-trained-fighters-in-syria-gave-equipment-to-al-qaeda-affiliate/2015/09/25/45100f14-63d8-11e5-8e9e-dce8a2a2a679_story.html

  6. Mike says:

    (26 Sep 2015) Russia intends to step up involvement in Syria to preven the “imminent” collapse of the Syrian government, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security has told Al Jazeera. Federica Mogherini’s comments on Saturday follow reports that 500 Russian troops have been deployed to a forward operating base in the Syrian port city of Latakia . http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/09/russia-troops-syria-stop-imminent-fall-assad-150926180925801.html See also “Explaining Russia’s True Presence in Syria” (Stratfor analysis 9/25/15) https://www.stratfor.com/analysis/explaining-russias-true-presence-syria US President Barack Obama and Putin are set to meet at the sidelines of Monday’s UN meeting to discuss the situations in Syria and Ukraine.

    • Scorpions in a Jar says:

      Sept 26th: The European Union’s diplomatic chief and Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met Saturday in New York to discuss the war in Syria ahead of a UN push for peace talks. A key ally of President Bashar al-Assad, Iran has been kept out of UN diplomatic efforts to end the four-year war that has killed more than 240,000 people. US Secretary of State John Kerry is due to meet with foreign minister Zarif in New York later today as is Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday. After Obama and Putin meet on Monday, the foreign ministers of the five permanent Security Council members — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — will meet Tuesday with UN envoy Staffan de Mistura and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. A senior adviser to Assad, Bouthaina Shabban has said that Russia and the United States have reached a “tacit agreement” on ending the war in Syria. “The current US administration wants to find a solution to the crisis in Syria. There is a tacit agreement between the US and Russia to reach this solution.” http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/86944-150926-us-eyes-new-diplomatic-approach-in-syria

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