« "Hunger Games" by richard Sale | Main | My Opinion on Syrian and Turkish Developments »

22 September 2015


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Ex-PFC Chuck

Link to this from the homepage title doesn't work but the one below the "Recentposts" list does.

Ex-PFC Chuck

Telegraph&Bloomberg links on home page rendition are missing here.

FB Ali

Already the US was said to be working on a plan to provide weapons “to a wider array of rebel groups in Syria and relaxing vetting standards, effectively deepening America’s involvement in the ongoing civil war.” (WashPost).

This fresh blow would have greatly strengthened the CIA's hand in pushing for US support for non-IS jihadis masquerading as a coalition including moderates. With the air campaign achieving little (except in Central Command communiques), this would have been the only option remaining.

Putin has once again saved the US from committing a grievous blunder: with the arrival of a strong Russian force in Syria, the US can step back from the brink it was going over, and join it in fighting all jihadis - the only policy that makes sense.



I have tried to sort out the links in this post and failed. it is not worth my time to do more. This somehow got tied to Sale's TA post "Hunger Games" and I can't fix it. pl



People here have a lot more experience, I do not, so please don't jump on me for a dumb question: in a situation like this what does happen to the trainees usually? Are they left to make their own way home, or will the U.S. help them get back? Will any be allowed to stay in the States? What happened to the men from the Bay of Pigs who were not arrested in Cuba, although I know the two situations are not all that similar.


FB Ali

The links are on my recent post on the "What is Bibi's leverage in Moscow?" thread.


"the US can step back from the brink it was going over, and join it in fighting all jihadis - the only policy that makes sense"

Do you think that is actually possible?

No irony intended - a straight question.



The BoP people were not our enemies. I served with a number of them in the US Army after they were released. pl

FB Ali

It is possible, provided

(a) the administration is sensible enough to assess the costs and benefits, without letting stupid anti-Russian bias get in the way, and

(b) it has enough clout to have its view implemented on the ground (something that often doesn't seem to happen - strangely enough!).

FB Ali

Which trainees? They're either dead, or working with the al Nusra jihadis. Don't see either category wanting to be helped back, or to come to the States!


And in turn Nusra and its satellite of affiliates will fold to IS when the chips are down. All those responsible in power will have to answer for these past years of political machination in Syria and Iraq will be a festering wound for the whole region(and beyond?) for decades to come


This must be the story Walrus refers to.


Patrick Bahzad

the "trainees" from Division 30 were mostly trained in Turkey, or Qatar.

Those who aren't dead/captured and who haven't joined up other groups, are back in Turkey.

Patrick Bahzad

That is one option, although "folding to IS" is not the lingo I would use. Other scenarios are also possible, this isn't the only one and it is not the most likely either.

William R. Cumming

Is my understanding correct that US Syrian ops [covert and overt] since the George W. Bush Administration have been largely CIA led?

Patrick Bahzad


That is not correct as far as the early years of the Iraq war is concerned. At the time when the US were still fighting AQI in Iraq, operations against Jihadi networks in Syria were led by the Us armed forces, not the CIA. And they sometimes coordinated with Assad's forces, or even acted on intelligence provided by the Syrians.

The CIA has mostly been spearheading operations ever since the war in Syria started, more precisely since early 2012 when the weapons' airlift began.

What was done to destabilize the regime before 2011 is another matter.



In the time previous to the beginning of the Syria War, DoD had representation (DIA/DATT)in Damascus and CIA did not. This was an artifact of the long feud between the civilian US government and Syria. This led to the major point of contact being the DATT. pl pl


The unicorn herders are not only militarily insane; but also, immoral. Hopefully whoever is running the Division 30 op. for the US is a pointy-headed academic without any military experience. If the goal of the op is to accelerate the extinction of the unicorn, it is a brilliant success. When I read a few days ago that for a 2d time a small unit of Div. 30 (72 fighters & 12 pickups) had crossed into Syria, I couldn't believe it. What possible military utility could they serve. I guess they planned to get their logistic support (fuel, food, etc) from a local 7-11. The only rational explanation that makes any sense to me is that the US is training & arming Al Nusra reinforcements/replacements under the guise of training & arming unicorns. Heaven help the US if we have allied ourselves to Al Queda.

William R. Cumming

Thanks Patrick and P.L.!


Since at least Vietnam, we have understood that 4th gen warfare meant intelligent insurgencies cannot be defeated at reasonable cost in $ and your own humanity.

Of course our Israeli-neocons set us on a course that required occupying large countries with troops.



Apologies if I have missed a link somewhere in these threads but is there a reasonably reliable estimate of just what, and how much, US tax payer funded hardware the various jihadi groups have acquired from the Unicorns and Iraqi armed forces? There seem to be many instances but I am having difficult in assessing their overall significance in the grand scale of military hardware held by these groups. With many thanks for all the insight shared by the many knowledgeable individuals who have given so generously of their time. JJ

Patrick Bahzad

@ JJackson,

Just to give you an idea, the overt support programme to 'moderate' Syrian rebels had a budget of 500 million $. The 'covert' CIA run support programme had a budget of roughly 1 billion $.
Add to that, the 4 000 tonnes of weapons delivered through Qatar, KSA and Turkey in 20112-2013.
Factor in the military equipment 'lost' by the Iraqi army (the 2300 Humvees + a few MRAPs and all the rest) and it will give you something of an idea how much US taxpayer money went to the Jihadis.
And finally, let us not forget that the total package for arming and training the inept Iraqi army over several years equalled 26 billion $.

FB Ali

"What possible military utility could they serve?"

The first lot sent in were trained as teams able to call in US air attacks on suitable targets. Presumably this lot was as well.

That raises the interesting question: since there aren't any "moderate rebels" doing any serious fighting against IS or the Assad forces, who was the USAF going to support? Jihadis?

Wouldn't be surprising if that was the underlying intention, considering some of the talk in Washington etc.



I think Larry referred to them as the 10 million dollar men. 9 to 10 mill a year to train.

Do you think the IRS will file a claim to get all that lost money refunded?

I guess CIA uses that one as their tax write-offs? While we get hosed with their results.

different clue

FB Ali,

As long as Topple Assad remains the ObamaGov's Prime Directive, they will fight the jihadis as tepidly as possible, because they still want to preserve the jihadi forces in case that is all there will ever be to topple Assad with.

That won't change unless a change of personnel in the DCgov can be made to adopt a new Prime Directive . . . Support Assad totally, help crush all traces of rebellion inside Syria, and restore order on the ground.

The fighting won't stop until one side has completely destroyed the will to resist on the part of all the other sides in Syria's multi-sided Civil War/Proxy War. Which side would the West prefer in its heart of hearts to see win the ultimate "last-side-standing" uncontested victory?

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad