From the moment Congress put aside a huge chunk of money to train a new faction of pro-US Syrian rebels, the plan has been heralded by officials as an eventual game-changer. The Pentagon was to train some 5,400 rebels a year, a figure they later revised down to about 3,000.
There was a lot of debate about whether 3,000 or even 5,000 new rebels would be a difference maker, but all that debate seems sort of silly as officials today revealed that after many months of careful vetting, they’ve found a grand total of 60 rebels to train.
Since the Pentagon pumped some $500 million into this training program, they are getting Syrian rebels for about $9 million each, a bad deal even by Pentagon standards. Pentagon officials conceded this was “below expectations.”
The White House also felt the need to address the matter, with a similar understatement in which they conceded that the 60 rebels they’re in the process of training is “not enough” to win the war against ISIS.