I’m praying for McCain’s health but I’m also praying he stays away from the Senate. His health issues today didn’t keep him from reaching out to his followers to trash the President as “irresponsible”, “shortsighted” and playing into “Russia, Assad’s hands”.
Reports admin ending prgm to assist Syrian opposition irresponsible, short-sighted& plays into Russia, Assad’s hands https://t.co/N7KVqn1VD6
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) July 20, 2017
His comments came after Trump announced he was canceling a failed program to train and arm Syrian fighters to take on ISIS. We think the senator from Arizona should rest and stop tweeting.
It’s not only McCain who is unhappy, anonymous sources are unhappy too. One told the Washington Post that it is only a way to improve relations with Russia.
WaPo sees Russia everywhere and in all things.
The president made the call to drop the very, very expensive program after an Oval Office sitdown with CIA Director Mike Pompeo and national security adviser H.R. McMaster ahead of Trump’s meeting with Putin at the G20 in Germany on July 7.
Not everyone was unhappy. Some said it simply reflected the reality of the situation on the ground, where Assad, backed by the Russians, appeared to be gaining the upper hand, the Post reported.
It cost $10 million per Syrian fighter, we kid you not
The program is supposed to train and arm Syrians to fight Assad. While I haven’t closely followed the program since 2015, I was shocked to learn it was still ongoing. By September of 2015, two years after it began, 4 soldiers had been trained to fight ISIS at a cost of $41 million.
Originally they found 60 Syrians to fight the 20,000 to 30,000 ISIS militants. All but 4 or 5 had been killed, captured or had disappeared. Some suggest the ones who disappeared were fighting with ISIS.
It is hard to find “moderate” rebels.
Also in 2015, a U.S.-trained rebel brigade handed over six pickup trucks and ammunition — which was one quarter of their issued kit — to Jabhat al-Nusra, which was then Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria.
At the time, McCain was very critical of the way the program was going.
This brief clip is from the hearing at the time:
In 2015, the Pentagon responded to the failure by training more at great expense.
In 2016, it was revealed that the Pentagon had spent $500 million of taxpayers’ money in order to train 5,000 rebel fighters, but that the program was shut down after reportedly only producing five fighters, according to the Clarion Project.