Pentagon proposes training moderate Syrian rebels
September 19th, 2013
08:28 AM ET

Pentagon proposes training moderate Syrian rebels

The Pentagon has "put a proposal on the table" for U.S. military forces to train and equip moderate Syrian opposition forces for the first time, two Obama administration officials told CNN.

If approved, it would dramatically increase the role of the U.S. military in Syria's civil war and would for the first time put American troops in direct contact with opposition forces.

The idea has been under consideration since the August 21 chemical weapons attack outside Damascus, which the United States says was carried out by the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

There are few specifics on troops or other aspects of the military proposal, but both officials said the effort envisions training taking place in a country near Syria.

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soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. George patton

    This is the biggest piece of insanity that there is! This is how we got dragged into Vietnam and it only proves just how the right-wing thugs in Washington want to take over Syria as it seems to be on their calender of conquest. They never give up!!!

    September 22, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Reply
  2. Mark

    Moderate? I think a moderate Muslim is an oxymoron.

    September 21, 2013 at 11:53 pm | Reply
  3. Dan

    It all has to do with the "BANKS" and money, people. Come on CNN, TELL people what and why all this IS REALLY GOING ON.

    September 21, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  4. StanCalif

    Sending in American troops to train who? We don't know who to train and who to arm! Neither side is trustworthy. This would just begin another Vietnam or Iraq! Face it, we lost both of these wars! Don't repeat past failures! Russia has much more at stake in Syria than we do, the Russians need to take care of this!
    Sure, Assad is a dictator but so is Putin (in all reality). Let these two fix this mess! It is not our problem!

    September 19, 2013 at 10:43 pm | Reply
  5. blake

    Wow has are gov really got that dumb maybe we should give iran so nukes why we are at is come on

    September 19, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Reply
  6. Kfhj Rwrtkfgh

    Further...Israel has a ban on Democracy in the US.

    September 19, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Reply
  7. Kfhj Rwrtkfgh

    Let me cook down all of what US Peasnt just wrote i.e. : Israel has a ban on democracy in the M.E.

    September 19, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Reply
    • USAPeasant

      Let me summarize it for you since you obviously cannot read as my op-ed below does not contain any reference to Israel.

      1. The Middle East is a hell hole. It is quite easily the bloodiest tract of land in History.

      2. The Middle East, the muslim nations in particular, are historically treacherous, especially whenever America helps them. They have a track record of this from us helping the Taliban against the Soviets only to get backstabbed on 9/11, to Benghazi, to the massive embassy attacks last year, to Pakistan sheltering Osama for years, to the Iranian hostage crises, so forth and so on.

      3. There is no such thing as a moderate muslim, especially during a civil war and certainly not in the Syria Civil War as according to the burden of proof set by the numerous videos and articles displaying the Syrian Rebels' actions.

      4. Do not train the muslim backstabbers to backstab us in the future which they will do, as they do every time without fail.

      Also I did not mention Israel once in my lengthy op-ed comment below, but seeing the history of modern Israel is another good way to present proof of how the muslim nations are bloodthirsty, barbaric, and treacherous. Behold they even blame Israel when they themselves are the root cause of the problem. Besides displaying their obvious insanity, this itself is even more evidence why we should not train, arm, nor help in anyway the barbarian muslims as they obviously will blame Israel for the crap mess that they themselves started. Then they will either attack Israel or backstab America or both.

      The muslims aren't interested in civilization, they serve an idol of Death, that is what they are interested in. And it is fine by me if the muslims want to serve their pagan moon idol of Death and reap the wages of Death. I am just sick of my government giving them weapons, money, and training when they should know better by now that the muslims always backstab us and we get literally nothing in return, in fact we lose both resources, lives, allies, and money only to support our future enemies. It's not good policy to arm and aid the muslims to say the least, and it's flat out stupid and possibly the sign of a very dark conspiracy to say the most.

      September 20, 2013 at 3:01 am | Reply
  8. USAPeasant

    I like the propaganda message of late referring to the Rebels (FSA faction) as "moderates." Let's push aside the obvious AQ affiliation for the sake of argument here (though it is indeed correct to assume much of the Rebels are AQ-affiliated.)

    First I would like to know; who are the moderate rebels? Are they the ones shouting "allah snackbar" as they blow things up and get blown up? Are the "moderates" the ones eating people's hearts? Are the moderates the ones massacring civillians just as eagerly as Assad? I've been watching this Syria Civil War since it began as peaceful protests, if there were any moderates, they're well dead or disillusioned now. There's ample videos on the various rebel factions and not one of them shows any sort of "moderation." Who is really a moderate in a Civil War, especially a civil war with vast international jihadist dimensions? is it even possible to be moderate in such a bloody war?

    Secondly, who is the "moderate" leader? From everything I have seen the rebels are a ragtag assortment of domestic syrians and international terrorists. It is fair enough to say the FSA is controlled by the SNC, but then just how much control does the Syrian National Council have over its dogs? We saw from Libya that obvious lack of control between the leadership and the fighters amoungst the Rebels. Even worse we saw a flat out betrayl in Libya not just in the act of Benghazi, but also by the new Libyan government, that we saved at the 11th Hour, by their refusal to allow us to arrest the embassy guards that betrayed us (see SecBlog article right before this one.) Just how moderate is the Syrian National Council? And even if they are genuinely non-muslim moderates, then how much control do they actually wield over thier troops?

    Thirdly, what is our motive for funding, arming, and now training the barbarians that will so obviously backstab us the first chance they get? I believe the motive is quite simple; to kill Assad. That's a fair enough motive, Assad is a brutal dictator and has been a thorn in the side of the international community for years. However, one must anticipate the very real chaos that will be unleashed after his fall, probably even moreso than Iraq given the fact there is so much direct foreign involvement in Syria. I don't think we really need worry about arming and training the FSA too much because Assad will get his eventually. If the various rebels don't stomp him out Gaddafhi-style I'm sure Assad's own notorious allies Hezbolalh and Iran will turn on him eventually as they are wont to do.

    The best thing America can do is send legit humanitarian supplies as we have been doing (one of the few good marks on our Syra record), working with the UN to secure the WMD stockpile (the only true national security threat posed by Assad), and refrain from arming or training the Rebels or the Assadist forces.

    Remember how Rome fell. First with a decay and corruption inwardly with its politics. We have that on check all ready. Rome also fell because they began training and hiring barbarians to manage their empire, and then were betrayed. The barbarians of today, like the barbarians of old, do not share our culture, they do not share our values, they do not share our outlook on life, they do not share our religion, they do not share our political ideals (democracy), they do not share our concept of Rights, they don't even share our pop culture, they do not share much at all with America besides their undying hatred. The Middle East has a track record of treachery, and the American people are sick of being betrayed.

    There is literally nothing to gain by helping the Rebels besides the possibility of killing Assad, which will probably happen whether or not we help any side. as Assad has made many enemies and dubious friends in this World the past 3 years. However the risks of helping the Rebels are enormous and include everything from being backstabbed Benghazi-style, to a wider regional war, to another safe haven and weapons resupply for AQ, to even the frightening scenario that the Rebels might get their hands WMDs.

    September 19, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  9. Kfgjfgj Edtjk

    Do you expect people to think the suni vs shia issue was manufactured and was implemented and now is a focus of debate both domestic & international ...

    September 19, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Reply
  10. Portland tony

    This is a stupid concept. These guys have been fighting a guerrilla war somewhere without air or artillery support for years. How in the hell are we going to teach them anything. And precisely how do you define "moderate rebel". STAY the hell out of sectarian wars. Infidels are not popular, even in Muslim Sunni-Shia sect conflicts.

    September 19, 2013 at 10:40 am | Reply
    • George patton

      no my friend, it is in the best interest of the world they keep fighting each other, I mean Sunni and Shi'a. If they unite, they will not bring peace to anyone, instead they will turn on non muslims aka Kafers.

      September 19, 2013 at 11:45 am | Reply
      • USAPeasant

        Careful brother George. The muslims have been fighting eachother and the non-muslim nations for over a millenia. Behold their numbers have actually grown, not decreased, amidst their unending wars. Radical islam is a death cult, and the more death there is the more radical islam spreads. They fight eachother for now but it will not be long until they turn on us. When our foolish leaders were mulling over the syrian missile strike some Rebels were even considerring joining Assad if we were to jump in directly. So it is true that our involvement directly or indirectly could easily serve as a point to rally them and historically speaking it does exactly that (I personally call this the Saladin Effect.)

        Behold the bigger picture and the rapid spread of radical islam in just the past decade. AQ by itself as an organization has grown rapidly both in numbers and in geographic location, not shrunk, since our war began with them. This is a war that you cannot win by killing bodies and building up client governments. Behold we have slaughtered the enemy at ratios greater than 100:1, we have unseated many despotic regimes from power, and yet still they spread and grow. To defeat them we must kill an idea, and ideas are not easily killed nor can they be killed by material means.

        September 19, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
  11. George patton

    sounds like a good idea !! let Russians train Assad forces and Sunni vs Shi'a game begin!!

    September 19, 2013 at 9:41 am | Reply
  12. U.S.M.C. 1371

    1. So much for no boots on the ground. This is how this admin is going to get involved since it could not gain international support now, it will have to escalate after U.S. "trainers" come under attack.

    2. Their is no such thing as a "Moderate" they want to train terrorist to fight a conventional battle.

    September 19, 2013 at 9:08 am | Reply
    • StanCalif

      Yep! Here we go again, "boots on the ground"! At least McCain should be pleased!

      September 19, 2013 at 10:20 am | Reply
      • U.S.M.C. 1371

        The big question is why is our commander in-cheif allowing this it even be option? Oh sorry I forgot you would need a leader to take command of his admin to stop this stupidity. He got pimp slapped by Assad and he is not going to stop till he shows the world how much of a punk he is.

        September 19, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
  13. Random

    Not only do we know, but the world knows the majority of rebels are al qaeda , al qaeda allies, or in the best of cases loose allies of al qaeda.

    These are the same people we fought in afghanistan , iraq, and everywhere else.

    So let me get this right, you want to disarm Americans, and arm, train, fund, and give technical advantage to a group we know without any doubt are al qaeda affiliates.

    What the f are you smoking pentagon. You didnt learn from making the taliban? Fighting weapons you bought was so much fun in iraq lets do it again right?

    Please stop acting like crack heads. You are supposed to be our best and brightest.

    September 19, 2013 at 8:33 am | Reply
    • Random

      The best way to help any 'moderate rebels' is to tell them to lay down their arms and go home. Preserve their lives, their voices, so assad can kill the terrorist we all know are in syria. When assad is done, the UN can do its thing with him while Russia, and the US try to broker a new more representative government with all involved. Clearly in-between these the cw's would be destroyed so the world can release Syria back to the Syrians with no concerns over the terrorists getting them.

      If russia is sitting on proof the rebels fired first they need to out it at any cost right now.

      September 19, 2013 at 8:48 am | Reply

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