Speaking to reporters today at the State Department, Gen. John Allen, who has been advising President Obama on his new war against ISIS, today revealed that the administration has no plans to ever coordinate with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) or any other of the existing rebel factions.
That’s a surprise, because officials have been harping on for years about how great these factions are, and have been lavishing them with US arms and funding.
The FSA is forever complaining about not getting enough aid from the US, as their way of explaining how years of rebellion has them with virtually no territory and sloughing off fighters to ISIS and other more successful factions at an alarming rate. Now, the US appears to be comfortable just cutting them loose.
Not that they’re giving up on the conceit of regime change with “vetted, moderate” rebels. Rather, they’re now apparently putting all their eggs into the create a new rebel force basket, with Allen talking up the establishment of this new “credible” force.
Which at this point exists only as a ledger mark on the Pentagon’s books. Congress has agreed to a $500 million-plus plan to bankroll this new force, but the Pentagon hasn’t even begun the process of actually trying to assemble a whole brand new Syrian rebel army.
It’s a daunting task, with estimates that the force will at best be ready one year after they start the training, and with the entire US war in Syria hinging on the effectiveness of this thus far non-existent force, the administration seems to have a built-in excuse for the next year of failures in the war.