Violent Jihad

Stolen CIA Weapons from Syria Used to Murder Americans

The weapons were meant to arm CIA-backed rebels in Syria, and instead ended up on the black market. It is only the latest in a series of embarrassments for the Agency's Syria operations.

BY CounterJihad · @CounterjihadUS | June 27, 2016

The Central Intelligence Agency’s program to train and equip ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels suffered yet another embarrassment when arms intended for those rebels instead ended up on the black market.  Some of the arms were then used in an attack on an American training facility in Jordan that killed two American DynCorp employees.  That attack also killed several police officers who were being trained by the American private security firm at the behest of the US State Department.

According to a joint investigation by the New York Times and Al Jazeera, the theft involved millions of dollars of American weapons secretly shipped into the country by the CIA.

The revelations are only the most recent humiliation for American efforts in Syria under the Obama administration.  In mid-February, a group of CIA-backed rebels ended up fighting against, and losing to, a group of Pentagon-backed rebels.  The previous fall, CIA-backed rebels surrendered a quarter of their equipment al Qaeda.

The CIA’s efforts have also come under attack by Russia, which focused its bombing campaign not on the Islamic State (ISIS) but on the American-backed groups.  The US State Department suffered the humiliation of having to admit, publicly, that it could do nothing to protect its proxy forces from Russian bombers.  This month, US Secretary of State John F. Kerry asked the Russians to stop bombing al Qaeda because American-supported fighters had become “marbled” with al Qaeda.  Thus, Russian bombs targeting Qaeda militias were also hitting US-supported militias — because they are fighting alongside al Qaeda.

The CIA is not alone in having been embarrassed by its execution of President Barack Obama’s Syria policy.  Then Commanding General of US Central Command, Lloyd Austin, was forced to admit to Congress that his $500 million program to equip and train fighters in Syria had produced only “four or five” reliable soldiers.  Senator Claire McCaskill expressed astonishment that General Austin would admit that while appearing before Congress to ask for another $600 million to continue the program.

Last week fifty-one Foreign Service Officers signed a “dissent cable,” expressing their sense that the administration’s policy in Syria was wrong-headed and irresponsible.  They called instead for robust air strikes against the Assad regime.  Normally such cables are signed by only one or two officers, as the effect of dissenting from official policy can badly damage one’s career.  It is unprecedented for dozens of such officers to sign a joint statement of dissent.  It is especially noteworthy that they called for a more “military assertive” role given the at-times intense competition between the State Department and the Defense Department for resources and control.

Clearly, a new strategy is needed in this conflict.  Fortunately, one is available.  In the monograph Cut Down the Black Flag:  A Plan to Defeat the Islamic State, a number of security professionals led by former US Special Forces Master Sergeant Jim Hanson set out a range of military options for resolving the conflict.  Perhaps the Administration should pick up a copy.  It sounds like they need the help.



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