Right Hooks

Not Enough U.S.-Trained Soldiers to Take on JV Team

Obama's ideology is driving decision-making in the wrong direction.

Dan Gilmore · Sep. 17, 2015
F-22 Raptors in an undisclosed location in Southeast Asia. Photo courtesy US Air Force

This is not what our founding Patriots were talking about in regard to setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men. Before the Senate Armed Services Committee Sept. 16, Gen. Lloyd Austin admitted the plan to train 5,000 moderate Syrian rebels to fight the Islamic State has only produced “four or five” fighters. The Pentagon has allocated $500 million to the program that started this spring. To date, it has trained only 54 fighters, but they dispersed during Ramadan to visit family, during which the al-Qaida-linked Al Nusra Front attacked those remaining. “I have never heard testimony like this. … Never,” Sen. John McCain said in response to the news. “I have never seen a hearing that is as divorced from … reality.” CBS News reports the Pentagon will now lower its expectations for the program. But the root cause of America’s poor response to the Syrian Civil War isn’t bad management. The ideology held by the highest levels of this administration, the ideology that caused Obama to pull out from Iraq, the one that initially called the Islamic State the “JV team,” is the one driving this decision-making — and tainting the intelligence Obama receives to boot. In the spirit of cooperation, Secretary of State John Kerry has approached Russia, which wants to defeat the Islamic State while protecting the Assad regime, in an effort to coordinate our military efforts with theirs. Which will do what, precisely? Obama “always had a simple strategy for ISIS,” Charles Krauthammer said, “which is to do nothing until he leaves office and to turn it over to his successor.”

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