Obama Syria

Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, commander of U.S. Central Command, was forced to tell the truth Wednesday in front of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee. As is often the case, the truth can be painful. It turns out that a $500 million dollar program launched by the Obama administration to train Syrian rebels has yielded “four or five” troops for the front line against the Islamic State group.

Here is the exchange between Gen. Austin and Republican Senator Deb Fischer on Wednesday:

Sen. Deb Fischer: When Senator Carter was here before this committee in July he testified that there were only about 60 Syrian fighters that had been trained in our train-and-equip program and reinserted. We’ve heard reports of attacks on those individuals when they were reinserted back into Syria. Can you tell us what the total number of trained fighters remains.

Austin: It’s a small number. The ones that are in the fight is, we’re talking four or five.

Yes, you read that correctly — “four or five.”

LLoyd Austin

The Daily Beast did a decent job summing up the situation:

It is a staggeringly low number for a project in which the Obama administration had initially planned to train 5,400 fighters a year. At this pace of training, U.S. Central Command Commander Gen. Lloyd Austin told a Senate committee, the U.S. “won’t reach the goal we initially established for ourself.” In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Austin and Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Christine Wormuth gave a relatively rosy picture of the U.S.-led effort to defeat ISIS, characterizing the Syrian train-and-equip program as merely “off to a slow start.”

“That’s a joke,” Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) told Austin, referring to the “four or five” figure.

It would be a joke if the situation wasn’t so serious.

As it stands, the Islamic State group still controls large swathes of Iraq and Syria, Libya and Yemen (once touted as White House foreign policy successes) have imploded, and the United Nations puts the number of registered Syrian refugees at 4 million.

Syrian Refugee

The Obama administration told the world for the past year that it had everything under control — and then Europe was flooded with refugees.

It also appears as though intelligence experts were pressured into giving the White House the exact message it wanted: Nothing to see here. Move along. Move along.

NBC News reported Sept. 16:

“Published media reports suggest that the CIA’s estimate of ISIL’s manpower has remained constant, despite U.S. airstrikes-which suggests that either they were wrong to begin with, or that ISIL is replacing its losses in real time. Neither is good,” said committee chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

“Indeed, this committee is disturbed by recent whistleblower allegations that officials at Central Command skewed intelligence assessments to paint an overly-positive picture of conditions on the ground,” McCain said. He said the committee was investigating the allegations. “If true, those responsible must be held accountable,” he said.

Mr. Obama raised his head up high after adopting a “lead from behind” strategy. He seems to care more about inviting Muslim high school “suitcase-clock” makers to the White House than dealing with Islamic terrorist armies marching across the Middle East. He created a leadership vacuum in the world, which was quickly filled by its worst actors.

Sadly, many media outlets still refuse to accurately cover just how disastrous the president’s foreign policy has been. Indeed, it is hard to blame George W. Bush for a $500 million Obama anti-ISIL plan that churned out “four or five” soldiers.

As time runs out on the Obama administration, expect dictators, despots and terrorists around the globe to make an extra push for easy geopolitical gains. They know a guy like Mr. Obama doesn’t come around too often.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

7 comments

  1. On the subject of the clock maker, it made me think of something: I was bullied for having Asperger’s syndrome in middle school, but I never received an invite to the White House. I wasn’t invited to tour the corporate offices of Facebook (which didn’t exist back then, and arguably the world was better for it) or to Google. Then again, I’m the SJW boogeyman: a straight white guy, so that’s probably why.

    I’m being facetious, of course, but you probably get my point. I didn’t get an invite to the White House, and neither did all those kids who were suspended for biting Pop Tarts into the shape of guns or bringing toy guns to school. I wonder why?

    1. Every single day school administrators do dumb things. You mentioned the Pop Tart kid, for example. Then there are kids who get suspended for wearing American flag shirts, military shirts, NRA shirts, etc. The list goes on and on. As Bill Maher said, perhaps people thought it looked like a bomb because…it kind of looks like a bomb. 🙂

      Did the president even call the school for its side of the story before inviting the kid to the White House? I don’t think so. I guess we can never let an opportunity to slime people as racists-bigots-homophobes go to waste.

    2. Plus, the kid’s father is a radical Muslim activist (and the Lyndon LaRouche or Harold Stassen of Sudanese politics), and he’s staged publicity stunts like this before. He would not let the cops remove the handcuffs until the boy had been photographed with them on, and he held a press conference instead of attending a meeting with school authorities. The whole incident is a set-up. It’s a photo op for CAIR, and/or laying the groundwork for a shakedown lawsuit.

      The Democrats and their cheerleaders (the MSM) are tripping over themselves praising the kid for being a genius. He took parts from an alarm clock and put them in a pencil box. Whoopee.

      Zero tolerance policies have been in effect for years. The Pop tart incident, the boy in New York with the NRA T-shirt, the kid in Arizona with a picture of a gun as his screen saver, the kid in Virginia playing with an Airsoft pistol in his own yard (nowhere near school property), the kid in Colorado who pointed his index finger and said, “Bang.” All got suspended, and none got an invitation to the White House. But then, they were all infidels.

    3. Two words: Muslim privilege.

      You should have claimed that you were a Muslim, and that you were the victim of “Islamophobia.”

    4. That way, Carl, you would have gotten an invitation to the White House, and the bullies would have ended up in federal prison for a hate crime.

    1. No problem, Carl. I know I’ve been sort of behind on the blogging lately. I may even do a post on why I haven’t been writing here as often. 🙂

      I did briefly glance at this yesterday and will probably do a post on the issue this weekend. Long story short, Marvel better have some serious veto power over what he writes because if he wants to get weirdly political, then a lot of people will opt not to see Black Panther…

      Update: I look forward to hearing from you in this thread, Carl. 😉

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