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Obama Administration Wants New Fantasy Rebels In Syria

The fantasist is a hard creature to tame, if for no other reason than he or she always has somewhere outside of reality to escape to when the facts get harsh. So it is with President Obama’s self-admitted fantasy of having moderate Syrian rebel forces aligned with US interests that can alter the reality on the ground in Syria. Despite abysmal results so far, Obama and company can not let go of the dream.

Rather then dropping the delusion of having “moderate” rebels prevail after the Free Syrian Army collapsed and joined with ISIS and Al Qaeda, the Obama Administration is trying to build a new moderate rebel army to fight ISIS, from scratch. Somehow the lesson of failing to have a force that can gain local support and overtake jihadists on the ground was to try an even more audacious plan of implanting fighters into the conflict from an organization wholly organized and structured by the US government.

Seriously.

For most of the three years of the Syrian conflict, the U.S. ground game hinged on rebel militias that are loosely affiliated under the banner of the Free Syrian Army, or FSA. Their problems were no secret: a lack of cohesion, uneven fighting skills and frequent battlefield coordination with the al Qaida loyalists of the Nusra Front.

This time, Allen said, the United States and its allies will work to strengthen the political opposition and make sure it’s tied to “a credible field force” that will have undergone an intense vetting process. “It’s not going to happen immediately,” Allen said. “We’re working to establish the training sites now, and we’ll ultimately go through a vetting process and beginning to bring the trainers and the fighters in to begin to build that force out.”

This time will be different might as well be the slogan for US foreign policy in the Middle East. Policies that have led to wasting trillions of dollars, shedding oceans of blood, and having nothing really to show for it but contagious smirks at the UN when a US official says the word “democracy” into a microphone.

President Obama is never more intellectually formidable than when he channels his inner-Hamlet and critiques his own reasoning. His self-critique that “former doctors, farmers, pharmacists” were never going to be a real fighting force – i.e. the Free Syrian Army was doomed – turned out to be correct. Of course, this time the rebel fighters might not be former professionals but people who just want the money – like those that joined the Iraqi National Army. What could go wrong?

Don’t think about it too much. Just see what you want to believe.

Image by Elena Mannini under attribution agreement.

CommunityThe Bullpen

Obama Administration Wants New Fantasy Rebels In Syria

The fantasist is a hard creature to tame, if for no other reason than he or she always has somewhere outside of reality to escape to when the facts get harsh. So it is with President Obama’s self-admitted fantasy of having moderate Syrian rebel forces aligned with US interests that can alter the reality on the ground in Syria. Despite abysmal results so far, Obama and company can not let go of the dream.

Rather then dropping the delusion of having “moderate” rebels prevail after the Free Syrian Army collapsed and joined with ISIS and Al Qaeda, the Obama Administration is trying to build a new moderate rebel army to fight ISIS, from scratch. Somehow the lesson of failing to have a force that can gain local support and overtake jihadists on the ground was to try an even more audacious plan of implanting fighters into the conflict from an organization wholly organized and structured by the US government.

Seriously.

For most of the three years of the Syrian conflict, the U.S. ground game hinged on rebel militias that are loosely affiliated under the banner of the Free Syrian Army, or FSA. Their problems were no secret: a lack of cohesion, uneven fighting skills and frequent battlefield coordination with the al Qaida loyalists of the Nusra Front.

This time, Allen said, the United States and its allies will work to strengthen the political opposition and make sure it’s tied to “a credible field force” that will have undergone an intense vetting process. “It’s not going to happen immediately,” Allen said. “We’re working to establish the training sites now, and we’ll ultimately go through a vetting process and beginning to bring the trainers and the fighters in to begin to build that force out.”

This time will be different might as well be the slogan for US foreign policy in the Middle East. Policies that have led to wasting trillions of dollars, shedding oceans of blood, and having nothing really to show for it but contagious smirks at the UN when a US official says the word “democracy” into a microphone.

President Obama is never more intellectually formidable than when he channels his inner-Hamlet and critiques his own reasoning. His self-critique that “former doctors, farmers, pharmacists” were never going to be a real fighting force – i.e. the Free Syrian Army was doomed – turned out to be correct. Of course, this time the rebel fighters might not be former professionals but people who just want the money – like those that joined the Iraqi National Army. What could go wrong?

Don’t think about it too much. Just see what you want to believe.

Image by Elena Mannini under attribution agreement.

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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.