"... officials want to lessen the risk that U.S.-trained fighters sent back into Syria to combat the Islamic State will use their weapons on civilians or — like the Afghan mujahideen fighters Washington backed in the 1980s — later turn against the United States and its allies.
Under the plan, which has not been finalized, “moderate” fighters will be evaluated on an ongoing basis. Successful participants would gradually attain access to higher levels of training and weaponry, and fighters found to be wanting would be dismissed from the program.
“We’re taking it extremely seriously,” a senior U.S. defense official said. He said fighters will also be educated about the laws of armed conflict." Washpost
This is a good idea that probably won't work very well. CENTCOM thinks it can "screen" potential "surrogate fighters" en masse well enough to keep them from doing what they please once turned loose in Syria? Good luck!! Every single one of the people they will deal with will have his own agenda and they will all be willing to tell the screeners whatever they think is necessary to be armed and trained. In HUMINT ops, COIN ops and UW ops I have been involved in doing much the same kind of screening and the outcome was always "dicey" and very dependent on the subjective judgment and skill of the screener. At the beginning of the US occupation of Iraq an industrial psychologist was hired to vett prospective Iraqi policemen. He devised a questionnaire to administer to the candidates to determine their suitability. He asked me to read it and to give an opinion. I told him that this test would be disastrous. "Why?" he asked. l told him that the testees would lie to get what they wanted. He professed to find that hard to believe. I told him he needed to meet more people in the ME. His test produced the police Shia death squads. pl
"An Egyptian court on Saturday removed all remaining charges against former President Hosni Mubarak, raising the possibility that Mr. Mubarak could go free for the first time since he was removed from office in the 2011 uprising that defined the Arab Spring.
During earlier hearings in the various proceedings against Mr. Mubarak human rights lawyers demanded harsh punishment for his three decades of brutal autocracy, but Saturday’s court session was packed with Mubarak supporters who erupted in cheers at the verdict." NY Times
I love the ME. The more things change the more they remain the same. He'll be out shortly and anyone in Egypt with any brains at all will be very subdued in commenting on the court's "mercy." At the time of the revolting Arab Revoltings I told Yussuf al-Misri that after a short delay there would come to be a struggle between the salafists (MB, etc.) and the Army and that the Army would win. And lo, this has come to pass. My old friend 'Umar Suleiman would have a good laugh. BTW, he despised Mubarak. pl
"Eyewitnesses say militants have launched an attack on a foreign guesthouse near parliament in the Afghan capital of Kabul.The Taliban immediately claimed responsibility for the attack Saturday on the guesthouse, home to Europeans working for the Afghan government.Police officials had no immediate comment. Eyewitnesses told The Associated Press that suicide bombers and gunmen were taking part in the assault.The attack comes amid a series of deadly assaults in the capital targeting foreigners amid the withdrawal of most NATO troops by the end of the year.
Ah, yes, tell me again how grand life will be in Kabul in the next few years. pl