Obama Signs Defense Bill Authorizing $500 Million More In Aid To "Moderate" Syrian Rebels

Tyler Durden's picture

Earlier this year, The Pentagon had a plan. Apparently, someone in Centcom decided that there weren’t enough proxy armies battling for control of Syria and so, what the US needed to do was spend $500 million on a new “train and equip” program which, if all went according to plan, would result in the recruitment of more than 5,000 fearsome warriors by the end of 2015. 

Of course the CIA and The Pentagon had already spent years arming, funding, and training Syrian rebels but as it turns out, most of them either proved to be wholly ineffective or else became terrorists. Although the CIA program was still operational, the Obama administration thought it would be advantageous to have (another) parallel program in place wherein “properly vetted” fighters would receive a steady stream of logistical support, training, and weapons. 

What exactly this new crack squad was supposed to do is still largely unclear. The official line - of course - was that they would fight ISIS and presumably al-Nusra. That would be amusing enough if it were true. That is, the US is widely suspected of providing support to ISIS early on in the fight and the FSA (which is explicitly backed by the US and its regional allies) formed an alliance with al-Nusra long ago. In short, if the US really was training soldiers to fight ISIS and al-Nusra, the program represented an attempt on Washington’s part to clean up a mess of America’s own making by doing the exact same thing (i.e. arming insurgents) that created the mess in the first place. 

Of course it’s unlikely that the program’s real goal was to fight Islamic State. After all, the US needs ISIS to continue the fight against Assad and indeed, at the time of the program’s inception, Russia wasn’t in Syria yet meaning there was still a very real possibility that Islamic State would eventually march on Damascus. It seems far more plausible that the new group of recruits were simply the latest effort on Washington’s part to field a reliable anti-Assad army that could be counted upon to continue to destabilize the regime and perpetuate American interests. 

Well, not to put too fine a point on it, but the effort was a miserable failure. By the time summer rolled around, the US had only managed to recruit around a dozen or so fighters. The group’s commander and deputy commander were kidnapped by al-Nusra in late July and in September, Centcom chief Gen. Lloyd Austin told congress that only around “four or five” soldiers were still on the ground. “Let’s not kid ourselves, that’s a joke. This is just a total failure,” Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) told Austin and Christine Wormuth, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy.

Things only got worse a week later when The Pentagon admitted that the “four or five” fighters still operating under the program were forced to hand over six “pickup trucks” and an ammo cache to al-Qaeda in order to secure safe passage to who knows where. 

Mercifully, the program was scrapped in early October.

But that experience did not deter the US from providing weapons to groups deemed "moderate" by The Pentagon and CIA. In fact, after Russia and Iran ramped up their efforts to support Assad's depleted forces, the US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar stepped up the weapons shipments to the FSA and other militants operating in Syria. The US, for instance, air dropped 50 tons of weapons into the middle of desert last month. The stash was supposedly intended for the brand new "Syrian Arab Coalition" which, as we outlined in side-splitting detail, is a largely fictional group the US made up in order to hide the fact that the weapons and ammo really went to the Kurdish YPG, an outcome that would be decisively unpalatable to Washington's allies in Ankara. 

Finally, in the latest example of what can go wrong when you provide weapons to militants, the FSA's 1st Coastal Brigade used a US-supplied TOW to destroy a Russian search rescue helicopter last Tuesday in the wake of Turkey's move to down a Russian Su-24 near the Syrian border.

Obviously, all of these programs have been remarkably successful which is probably why President Obama has decided to approve some $800 million in additional aid to Syrian "moderates" and to the government in Kiev as part of the annual defense policy bill. Here's RT:

President Barack Obama has signed the Pentagon funding bill giving $800 million in aid to both “moderate rebels” in Syria and the Kiev regime. Obama also vowed to work around provisions blocking the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

 

Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2015 on the eve of Thanksgiving. He previously vetoed the $612 billion bill in a well-publicized ceremony in October, arguing that the lawmakers dodged the spending limits by shifting money into the warfighting slush fund.

 

Although Congress then trimmed the bill down to $607 billion, the cuts did not affect the $300 million aid to the Ukrainian government, or the “zombie” surveillance blimp program that has cost nearly $3 billion so far. It also left almost $500 million dedicated to arming and training “moderate rebels” in Syria – a program the Pentagon had already abandoned.

Amusingly, "the NDAA specifically prohibits any US aid going to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Jabhat Al-Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda, the Khorasan Group, or any other violent extremist organization." Obviously that's a sick joke. As we saw last Monday, US-made TOWs make their way quickly to al-Nusra and what seems clear from the language in the bill is that Washington fully intends to continue to funnel arms to the FSA which is not only allied with al-Qaeda and who knows who else, but which is also now in the business of executing Russian pilots and blowing up search and rescue planes. 

Meanwhile, the Pentagon can now send “anti-armor weapon systems, mortars, crew-served weapons and ammunition, grenade launchers and ammunition, and small arms and ammunition" to Ukraine to aid in the fight against Russian-backed separatists. 

So there you have it America, your tax dollars hard at work funding proxy armies in Syria and a puppet government in Ukraine, as Washington struggles to preserve the last vestiges of US hegemony and Moscow fights to return the world to bipolarity. 

*  *  *

From the NDAA

SEC. 1225. MATTERS RELATING TO SUPPORT FOR THE VETTED SYRIAN OPPOSITION.

(a) REPORT ON POTENTIAL SUPPORT REQUIRED.— (1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report setting forth a description of the military support the Secretary considers necessary to provide to recipients of assistance under section 1209 of the Carl Levin and Howard P. ‘‘Buck’’ McKeon

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 (Public Law 113–291; 128 Stat. 3541) upon their return to Syria to ensure their ability to meet the intended purposes of such assistance.

(2) COVERED POTENTIAL SUPPORT.—The support the Secretary may consider necessary to provide for purposes of the report required by paragraph (1) is the following:

(A) Logistical support.

(B) Defensive supportive fire.

(C) Intelligence.

(D) Medical support.

(E) Any other support the Secretary considers appropriate for purposes of the report.

(3) ELEMENTS.—The report required by paragraph (1) shall include the following:

(A) For each type of support the Secretary considers necessary to provide as described in paragraph (1), a description of the actions to be taken by the Secretary to ensure that such support would not benefit any of the following:

(i) The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Jabhat Al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda, the Khorasan Group, or any other violent extremist organization

(ii) The Syrian Arab Army or any group or organization supporting President Bashir Assad.

(B) An estimate of the cost of providing such support.

(b) STRATEGY FOR SYRIA.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall, in coordination with the Secretary of State, submit to the appropriate congressional committees a strategy for Syria.

(2) ELEMENTS.—The strategy required by paragraph (1) shall include the following:

(A) A description of the means by which assistance provided to appropriately vetted elements of the Syrian opposition and other appropriately vetted Syrian groups and individuals will achieve the purposes set forth in section

1209(a) of the Carl Levin and Howard P. ‘‘Buck’’McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015.

(B) A description of the political and military objectives and end states for Syria.

(C) A description of means by which the assistance will support the political and military objectives and end states for Syria.

(D) An explanation of the manner in which the military campaign in Syria and Iraq is integrated.

(c) APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES DEFINED.—In subsections (a) and (b), the term ‘‘appropriate congressional committees’’ has the meaning given that term in section 1209(e)(2) of the Carl Levin and Howard P. ‘‘Buck’’ McKeon National Defense

Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015.

(d) ADDITIONAL MATTERS FOR QUARTERLY PROGRESS REPORTS ON ASSISTANCE TO THE VETTED OPPOSITION.—

(1) ADDITIONAL MATTERS.—Subsection (d) of section 1209 of the Carl Levin and Howard P. ‘‘Buck’’ McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 is amended—

(A) in paragraph (10), by striking ‘‘and’’ at the end;

(B) in paragraph (11) by striking the period at the end and inserting a semicolon; and

(C) by adding at the end the following new paragraphs:

‘‘(12) a description of support, if any, provided to appropriately vetted recipients pursuant to subsection (a) while those forces are located in Syria, including—

‘‘(A) logistics support;

‘‘(B) defense supporting fire;

‘‘(C) intelligence; and

‘‘(D) medical support; and

‘‘(13) a description of the number of appropriately vetted recipients located in Syria, the approximate locations in which they are operating, and the number of known casualties among such recipients.’’.

(2) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendments made by paragraph

(1) shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act, and shall apply with respect to quarterly reports submitted under subsection (d) of section 1209 of the Carl Levin and Howard P. ‘‘Buck’’ McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 after that date.

(e) INFORMATION ACCOMPANYING REPROGRAMMING REQUESTS.—

Subsection (f) of such section is amended—

(1) by striking ‘‘The Secretary of Defense’’ and inserting the following:

‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary of Defense’’; and (2) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

‘‘(2) INFORMATION ACCOMPANYING REPROGRAMMING REQUESTS.—Each request under paragraph (1) shall include the following:

‘‘(A) The amount, type, and purpose of assistance to be funded pursuant to such request.

‘‘(B) The budget, implementation timeline with milestones, and anticipated delivery schedule for such assistance.’’

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junction's picture

Traitor-In-Chief Obama at work supporting ISIS.

Stroke's picture

Article was too hard to read with the thought "When will this POS finally be out of office" running through my head

 

And fuck the ones that wanna replace this fuck with Hillery....OMG Jan 2017 we can breath again...I Hope

Whoa Dammit's picture

O has to make sure his immoderate rebels have all the resources necessary to commit yet more war crimes should the need arise, such as another Russian pilot that has to be murdered while parachuting from his illegally shot down plane.

greenskeeper carl's picture

Typical government policy at work here. This has been a complete and total failure, so obviously we need to try again, but this time with moar money.

Of course that assumes that arming ISIS is an unfortunate side effect rather than the goal. I'd sure love to see what Obamas body count is when he is finally out of office. I'll bet he even beats bush, who those on the left loved to call a war criminal for doing the exact same thing

Bend over Europe, you're about to get even moar refugees...

strannick's picture

America is all-in on evil.

We should gift wrap the million plus refugees and put them on the front lawn of the white house in an adopt-me basket Since thus Syrian civil war is America's baby.

 

SickDollar's picture

This is for more new  trucks and  white tennis shoes

 

pods's picture

This is about more than Obama, he didn't write the bill. This is about Amerika. 

Face it, the USA is the boogeyman that our media is always warning us about 

It's not the browns, it is each and every one of us. 

pods

Oracle 911's picture

Guys do you know what is the irony in this?

I will tell you, Obama is hired for destroying the USA and the neocons who want preserve the status quo are helping him.

Just think about it, what will say after this Russia, China and the MSM owned by Obama's masters?

 

After all, the Independent began Cameron's grilling over the aid for moderate rebels.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/david-cameron-there-arent-70000-mode...

Paveway IV's picture

Dear CENTCOM Command Staff,

Stop wasting my tax dollars on your treasonous clownfuckery and resign your commissions immediately. You make a mockery of all the U.S. soldiers that died in all the wars before this. You're a disgrace to the U.S. and every second you remain in the armed forces, you weaken America. You are enemies of this nation, not it's protectors. A substantial part of this country hates your treasonous Saudi butt-kissing, Israeli-firster asses. You are not heroes to anyone besides the chickenhawk mouthpieces on CNN and the NYT. 

You are usurpers of the U.S. constitution and an enemy of democracy. If you don't understand the oath you took when you were commissioned, then get the fuck out of the military. Go whore out your 'command' skills to Academi/Xe or the CIA where they can appreciate useless psychopaths like you. Stop embarassing the entire United States on the world's stage.

You stupid fuckers seem oblivious to the fact that you LOST THE WAR IN SYRIA. Assad is going nowhere and the FSA has ceased to exist as a unified group of coup-mercenaries for the U.S. - they represent NO legitimate political body capable of running Syria. You are doing little more than committing war crimes by salvaging the spoils of war for a few oil companies and the petty criminal regimes of Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. 

Nobody cares that you're simply 'following orders' - that excuse didn't fly at Nuremberg and you fuckers are not getting a pass for Iraq or Syria. America will never forget your treason. If you don't understand the simple, obvious fact that you have been given illegal orders that defy the spirit and letter of the Constitution of the United States, then you are not bright enough or competent enough to protect it tomorrow OR EVER. Step down and let someone with a brain do your job instead, you treasonous fucks.

Oh, and thanks for your service, CENTCOM ASSHOLES.

DeadFred's picture

Barry would just say "Oooh, that one over there looks so muthcular, I'll take him!"

CheapBastard's picture

... and then O'Bama demands cuts in Social Security for those American Citizens who worked their entire lives and contributed the SS Trust.

 

"Change you can believe in!"

Baby Bladeface's picture

Maybe this time is different, and able to send ten "trained moderate soldiers" for kidnapped, robbed, or defect to ISIS instead of five.

This will be considered greatest success.

chubbar's picture

This is insane. The same "moderate rebels" we are arming, Al Qaida, Al Nusra, are terrorists 300 miles away.

The very same document that authorizes support for these moderates, NDAA, also authorizes the detention, without  charge, of US citizens that support terrorists.

For this to go unchallenged by any member of congress just shows how completely corrupted they are all.

Whoa Dammit's picture

O has to make sure his immoderate rebels have all the resources necessary to commit yet more war crimes should the need arise, such as another Russian pilot that has to be murdered while parachuting from his illegally shot down plane.

toxic8's picture

Stroke,

What makes you think anything will be ANY different come January '17?

The fucking game is rigged.

The system, being wholly corrupt, by law and logic cannot produce its own savior. It must be destroyed. We crawl towards a mass awakening. They are throwing everything and anything they can at us to minimize the possiblity of said revolution to occur. There is a limited amount of resources on this planet and they are scrambling for control of all the important shit, so that when, not IF it happens, they and theirs chances are maximized in the resulting chaos.

I wouldn't be surprised if the billionares have their tickets bought and paid for, either to get off this ship through space or go deep into the earth, where they will be insulated from the carnage.

One day, maybe in our lifetimes, the fucker WILL go critical and "the system" will crash and burn.

Future generations will look back at our time and laugh at how gullible "we" were; calling it an Age of Strife fueled by Deception, Hypocrisy and Greed.

Then again, some systems of thought have already defined our place in the grand cycle as such.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kali_Yuga

harleyjohn45's picture

Obama is stupid beyond belief.

DeadFred's picture

Yes he is but "signs defence bill" means this got approved by both houses.

Normalcy Bias's picture

Obama Signs Defense Bill Authorizing $500 Million More In Aid To Arms Manufacturers and ISIS

There. fixed it.

GhostOfDiogenes's picture

What about the people who wrote it?
Or voted for it so it passed comittee?
Who voted for this bill in both sides of congress?
What about the military industrial complex and all its workers and cronies this benefits?
What about those who own stock and prosper because of the MIC?

You put this all on one little monkey without any power whatsoever who signs shit with flashy new pens?

Cause he has no power against all those idiots.

None.

Baby Bladeface's picture

Yes all those you mention bear responsible and still you justification apologise for monkey have none.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Correction:  PUPPET-IN-CHIEF.  Doing the bidding of the Likud Party and its voters (who keep expanding into Arab territories, where the Water and Oil are).

Which Moderate Al-Qaeda guys (former Terrorist Enemy #1) get the FRNs?  Use the following map

http://www.voltairenet.org/local/cache-vignettes/L400xH548/1_-_1_1_-80-7096a.jpg

The above JPG comes from this article: http://www.voltairenet.org/article188929.html

 

Which is related to the following article, that discusses how Al Qaeda jihadists are being treated in Northern Israel's Army Hospital (Ziv Medical Center), and even get to shake hands with the Overlord Netanyahu himself: http://www.voltairenet.org/article189411.html

Demdere's picture

The reason for this move is the same as for all of the Israeli-neocon moves : if they don't keep attention off 9/11, they will all hang.

https://thinkpatriot.wordpress.com/2015/11/28/nsas-capabilities-have-nev...

That aspect of 9/11, that colluding with foreigners to kill US citizens is treason as well as criminal, is what drives everything now.  NSA will not  be rolled back in its actual power, because it is the base of the Israeli-neocon power of blackmail and economic espionage.

Important parts of our government is run by criminals, at least the CIA and very likely NSA and important parts of the military and other intelligence agencies.

They will all be rolled back when this government collapses because of the corruption.

 

maxamus's picture

At least Regan actually sold arms to Iran, he didn't just give them away.  Oops, then Reagan gave that money to terrorists.

GhostOfDiogenes's picture

Reagan didn't pay for those guns and drugs for 'terrorists'.
The taxpayers did.

Freddie's picture

What have the Republicans or Democrats done to stop him?  Nothing.  The Pentagram goes along. 

The same Congress who gives Soros boy Porko Poroshenko standing ovations.  And the same Congress who gives Jonathan Pollard's biggest support Bibi endless standing ovations.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/3366115/posts

Meanwhile over at Free Republic idiots are bashing Putin.  Mainly idiots who support Ted Cruz think he is another Reagan. 

The same Ted Cruz who was born in Canada (Calgary) and who's wife works for Goldman Sachs or is on sabatical. Ted joked that Goldman pays for his healthcare and that he does not have shit ObamaCare.

the same Ted Cruz who voted for ObamaCare aka TPA and TPP which is a nightmare and sells out the American people.  Cruz also is a huge supporter of more H 1-bs like Jeb and Rubio.

Lumberjack's picture

It's the Green Thing to do /s

DogOfSinope's picture

So, it's 100 million per moderate rebel.
My grandma was right after all - moderation pays!
Also, thinking about it, moderate rebels already won.
With that kind of money in the pocket they need not bother with inflatable boats to Kos. Thay can take Qatar Airways first class to New Zealand, investor visa in their pockets.

trulz4lulz's picture

No, its only a few grand for each moderate rebel, the rest is administration fees.

trader1's picture

stop bombing nations into ruins, and stop shipping weapons into the area you’ve left in chaos.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/29/what-to-do-about-isis/

JustObserving's picture

Has Obama met a war that he did not like?  He has bombed seven countries - Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and Pakistan.  He continues to drone women and children and wedding parties in heinous double-tap droning.  He destabilized Ukraine and is challenging China on the South China Sea.  Sometimes, the Nobel Prize makes sense, sometimes it is a complete mockery.

ISIS: The jihadist movement stamped “Made in America”

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/07/30/isis-j30.html

USA, Turkey and Israel Act As Air Force for ISIS

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2015/08/usa-turkey-and-israel-act-as-air-...

The US arming of ISIS

While claiming to be committed to a war against ISIS, Washington and its regional allies have time and again proven themselves to be its principal sources of strength.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/06/03/pers-j03.html

Poll shows 81 percent of Syrians believe US created ISIS

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-09-19/81-syrians-believe-us-blame-isi...

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/09/18/isis-s18.html

Obama's fake war against ISIS:

1 yr, 6,700 airstrikes & $4bn after Obama vowed to ‘destroy’ ISIS, jihadists still on offensive

http://investmentwatchblog.com/1yr-6700-airstrikes-4bn-after-obama-vowed...

trulz4lulz's picture

So they should be aprehending themselves at any moment now, correct?

stant's picture

ISIS is his fucking army

Kaiser Sousa's picture

nice...

and keep paying ur taxes....

DEATH TO THE MONEYCHANGERS......

atomp's picture

Hmmm, laugh, or cry?

_SILENCER's picture

But...but..Obama s a peace prize power prez!

earleflorida's picture

as was 'crazy woodrow wilson'

nmewn's picture

"Amusingly, "the NDAA specifically prohibits any US aid going to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Jabhat Al-Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda, the Khorasan Group, or any other violent extremist organization." 

In other words, in the hauntingly familiar, bi-polar, bitchy school marm world of Hillary!..."What difference does it make!?"

Lumberjack's picture

Does the language omit Turkey et. al?

The sin of omission?

JimmyRainbow's picture

"train to defend from isil is a critical part."

"there are more than 60 global partners fighting isil"

yes yes yes

 

ebworthen's picture

Our tax dollars at work to fund the slaughter of:  Christians, Jews, and moderate Muslims.

GhostOfDiogenes's picture

Who cares about you religious people?

All of you are insane, narcissistic devil worshippers.

TeaClipper's picture

Thats a lot of money to share out between 4 dudes

I AM SULLY's picture

This is all the result of some agenda of swarthy types ... I'm certain.

Lost in translation's picture

Obama: tyrant-sociopath and bloody killer without peer.

The fact that NO ONE in the U.S. Armed Forces has placed this lowlife thug under arrest testifies to their infidelity to the Constitutional oath they swore to uphold.

Welcome to Nero's Rome.

GhostOfDiogenes's picture

Au contrare dippy
Everyone in uniform who followd him is more cupable than obama, nero, hell I will throw in Hitler for good measure.

The order followers are to blame.

You seem to have washed your hands of their culpability.
This is why I have zero respect for flag wavers and bible thumpers.
You are as evil as the devil you worship.

Freddie's picture

The US Govt is totally corrupt from top to bottom.  Lots of conservatives over at Free Republic talk about the military and our soldiers in uniform.  The Pentagram is just as culpable. 

Anyone who would turn their kid over to these psychopaths to enlist is dumb as dirt.

 

honestann's picture

Is the world Orwellian yet?

Obomber == Nobel Peace Prize Winner?

Humans are an utterly failed species.

Humans are so finished.

Just a matter of time.

lester1's picture

Where the hell is the anti-war liberal media to report on this??

 

They can go after Trump for sneezing wrong, but never call out Obama ??