Congress Concerned Syria Training Program Will Give ISIS Easy Access to US Arms

Senators Remember 'Abject Failure' of Program's Last Incarnation

A number of Congressmen from both parties are expressing major concerns about the Pentagon’s talk of reviving the “train and equip” program, which aimed to manufacture new, pro-US rebel factions for the Syrian Civil War, after the previous program was shut down last year.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D – VA) called the program “ill-conceived,” advocating the US spend the money on more direct intervention, while Sen. Bob Corker (R- TN) said it was an “abject failure” and joined opposition to retrying it.

The previous $500 million program trained two classes of rebels, about 125 in total. The first class was captured almost immediately by rebels, and the second faction immediately handed all of its weapons to al-Qaeda. After that, the Pentagon “suspended” the program.

Many in Congress are concerned that, with the last program accomplishing little but funneling weapons to Islamists, the revival will simply be a new round of US equipment for ISIS and other factions to acquire.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.