No surprise–US training of Syrian rebels is a failure

The failure of the US effort to train Syrian rebels is no surprise to me, at least–there’s a chapter in my book, Broken Spring, about the folly of the US backing Syrian rebels. I wrote that part in 2012. Now my friend Nancy Youssef has chapter and verse in this article about how half a billion dollars in US tax money has gone down the tubes in a vain effort to position an effective Syrian rebel force opposite ISIS.

The Pentagon’s next step, she writes, is to try helping out the Syrian Kurdish forces.

That has a better chance of success, because the Kurds are already motivated to fight ISIS. The

Kurdish regions

Kurdish regions

problem here is, as you can see on the map–Syrian Kurds are only a small part of the Kurdish presence in the Middle East. If you want them to be effective, you have to help them unite–and that means butting heads with Turkey, considered a US ally, which has been fighting Kurdish PKK separatists for decades.

So it’s another no-win situation for Washington, which really should be getting used to this by now. All US interventions in the Mideast over the past decade have failed. Unfortunately, the current US government is hamstrung by fear that it might look bad, so admitting defeat or failure is worse than correcting the problem, in its eyes.

That’s no way to run the free world.


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