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Each "Moderate Syrian Rebel" Costs American Taxpayers $100,000,000
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From the Washington Post:

A $500 million U.S. plan to boost the Syrian opposition has yielded ‘four or five’ fighters

The Obama administration is searching for new ways to aid the country’s rebels after acknowledging the failure of the current approach.

By Karen DeYoung

Update: Pat Casey hypothesizes that the general testifying to Congress might have botched up trying to say “four or five thousand” …

 
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  1. Heartwarming news, Osama, the man who a Hungarian camera woman was sacked for tripping, has been given a job with a first division Spanish football club coaching school. (Diving coach?).
    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/09/tripped-refugee-heading-spain-football-academy-150916142230899.html

    Re ‘Each “Moderate Syrian Rebel” Cost American Taxpayers $100,000,000’.

    Special needs education doesn’t come cheap. The moderate Syrian rebel forces are the ones doing all the fighting and their areas are being constantly attacked. Assad knows the stronger IS gets the better for him. Islamic State fighters lead a life of easy conquest and debauchery. So anyone who joins the moderate forces must be retarded.

    • Replies: @5371
    @Sean

    [Special needs education doesn’t come cheap]

    Your parents might well have personal experience of this.

    [The moderate Syrian rebel forces are the ones doing all the fighting and their areas are being constantly attacked.]

    Huh? There's no such thing as a moderate Syrian rebel. Jabhat al-Nusra etc. are just Original IS. Their ideology, actions and sources of funds are exactly the same, but their videos are less well made.

    Replies: @Sean

  2. iSteveFan says:

    In comments that appeared to shock even many of those involved in Syria policy elsewhere in the government, Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, the head of the U.S. Central Command, told Congress on Wednesday that only “four or five” trainees from the program, a $500 million plan officially launched in December to prepare as many as 5,400 fighters this year, have ended up “in the fight” inside Syria.

    I would have thought the title of your post was a gross exaggeration if I hadn’t read the article. Half a billion could probably have been used to build about 5% of our border fence with Mexico.

    • Replies: @Sean
    @iSteveFan

    The Germans are good at building fences to keep immigrants out... of Saudi Arabia , ('The border zone now includes five layers of fencing with watch towers, night-vision cameras, and radar cameras').
    http://www.businessinsider.com/saudi-arabia-is-building-a-600-mile-great-wall-to-shield-from-isis-2015-1?IR=T

    But they will only do it on the other side of the world

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/migrant-crisis-german-company-refuses-sell-razor-wire-hungary-anti-refugee-fence-1520030

  3. @Sean
    Heartwarming news, Osama, the man who a Hungarian camera woman was sacked for tripping, has been given a job with a first division Spanish football club coaching school. (Diving coach?).
    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/09/tripped-refugee-heading-spain-football-academy-150916142230899.html

    Re 'Each "Moderate Syrian Rebel" Cost American Taxpayers $100,000,000'.

    Special needs education doesn't come cheap. The moderate Syrian rebel forces are the ones doing all the fighting and their areas are being constantly attacked. Assad knows the stronger IS gets the better for him. Islamic State fighters lead a life of easy conquest and debauchery. So anyone who joins the moderate forces must be retarded.

    Replies: @5371

    [Special needs education doesn’t come cheap]

    Your parents might well have personal experience of this.

    [The moderate Syrian rebel forces are the ones doing all the fighting and their areas are being constantly attacked.]

    Huh? There’s no such thing as a moderate Syrian rebel. Jabhat al-Nusra etc. are just Original IS. Their ideology, actions and sources of funds are exactly the same, but their videos are less well made.

    • Replies: @Sean
    @5371

    5371, I know you would say that to my face, and that is why I respect you.

    'Twas not I who called them moderate, which is a relative term. The original uprising in Syria was heavily secular, and got massacred by Assad. The current moderates are the most moderate of what is left after Assad has used his Russian supplied weapons to mass murder the population in the non IS areas. The US and Russia would not tolerate any IS victory over Assad, so why on earth would Assad not work out that a strong Islamic State is his greatest asset to stay in power? It is common knowledge that Islamic State is not suffering reverses at the hands of Assad, and far from attacking his forces, they and are actually attacking harmless sects for the purpose of woman stealing. The most-moderate-of-what-is-left Syrian opposition have actually been attacked by IS allies.

    Syria conflict: No sign of Assad regime crumbling, BBC Middle East editor, Damascus, 14 September 2015 Islamic State is strong, the Russians are giving Assad 100% backing, and he knows the Americans will never let IS defeat him. So what does he do?

    Replies: @schmenz

  4. here’s a very high qualify video of today’s siege at the Hungarian border. At 50 seconds in you can clearly see migrants throwing rocks.

    http://index.hu/video/2015/09/17/osszecsapas_roszke/

  5. 5 billion brought down the gov in Ukraine.

    Spend more.

    Btw, what gives US the right to bring down governments around the world?

    Why isn’t anyone questioning this criminal behavior?

    • Replies: @CK
    @Priss Factor

    1 little 2 little 3 little hydrogen bombs ... multiply rinse repeat. Might makes "The Right to do..." whatever it is that is done that offends someone without reciprocal capability. When someone mightier comes along then they will have the right of it.
    This is the essence of all morality and all of history, it is why the USA is so determined to stop the Silk Road initiatives and why the USA is determined to militarize space.
    Because like so many other things, Might can go slip sliding away with time and ossification.

    , @oh its just me
    @Priss Factor

    Even if someone did, it's not going to make it into MSM.

  6. @iSteveFan

    In comments that appeared to shock even many of those involved in Syria policy elsewhere in the government, Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, the head of the U.S. Central Command, told Congress on Wednesday that only “four or five” trainees from the program, a $500 million plan officially launched in December to prepare as many as 5,400 fighters this year, have ended up “in the fight” inside Syria.
     
    I would have thought the title of your post was a gross exaggeration if I hadn't read the article. Half a billion could probably have been used to build about 5% of our border fence with Mexico.

    Replies: @Sean

    The Germans are good at building fences to keep immigrants out… of Saudi Arabia , (‘The border zone now includes five layers of fencing with watch towers, night-vision cameras, and radar cameras’).
    http://www.businessinsider.com/saudi-arabia-is-building-a-600-mile-great-wall-to-shield-from-isis-2015-1?IR=T

    But they will only do it on the other side of the world

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/migrant-crisis-german-company-refuses-sell-razor-wire-hungary-anti-refugee-fence-1520030

  7. Arabs lack the je ne-sais-quoi necessary to make good mercenaries. Integrity, honor, fearlessness. The British found the Sherpa to be the most faithful and cost-effective.

    • Replies: @Discard
    @J

    Wasn't that the Ghurkas?

    Replies: @John Derbyshire

  8. $500 million sure doesn’t go very far in Washington. I suspect a lot of foreign military contracts function in the same vein as foreign aid or major charities. I.e. the lion’s share of the money is eaten up by personnel costs and miscellaneous expenses. The right sort of people whether it be swpl girls from proper schools or fellow academy graduates don’t work for free, nor do they fly coach. Five hundred million is certainly enough to cobble together a motley collection of unshaven swarthy mercenaries that are Syrians as long as nobody asks too closely. That they have only found 5 is probably due to a heady mix of earnestness, incompetence, and rapaciousness that characterises American do-gooder(evil) endeavors.

    • Replies: @Busby
    @Duke of Qin

    I'd be I interested in seeing the books on this project. I think there are several possibilities.

    1. The DoD "hired" some private military outfit. I think this is least likely because

    2. The DoD could "hire" Army SF to do the whole deal from soup to nuts while "charging" all the expenses off against the fund cite for the project. Or,

    3. The DoD "hires" a certain secret civilian agency to do the project and uses the funds to pay for the expenses at some ridiculous mark up over actual "cost".

    Regardless, I thought originally this was not serious. The way you actually do this is either to start very small in country and build up from a squad or platoon size, or you move a large number out of the combat zone into an isolated area. Say the remote desert of Saudi Arabia or similar. You train them for months and take them on small field trips into the combat zone. Long story short, it would take several years to build something from scratch. We no longer have that kind of patience. You can bet your boots that every officer and NCO involved in this fiasco said from the beginning that this was not going to work without a long term plan.
    One can only now wait for the last two stages of every project: punishment of the innocent and promotions and honors for the uninvolved.

  9. @J
    Arabs lack the je ne-sais-quoi necessary to make good mercenaries. Integrity, honor, fearlessness. The British found the Sherpa to be the most faithful and cost-effective.

    Replies: @Discard

    Wasn’t that the Ghurkas?

    • Replies: @John Derbyshire
    @Discard

    Sherpa: mountain porter.
    Gurkha: fearless slaughter.

    Replies: @TWS, @J, @Olorin

  10. @5371
    @Sean

    [Special needs education doesn’t come cheap]

    Your parents might well have personal experience of this.

    [The moderate Syrian rebel forces are the ones doing all the fighting and their areas are being constantly attacked.]

    Huh? There's no such thing as a moderate Syrian rebel. Jabhat al-Nusra etc. are just Original IS. Their ideology, actions and sources of funds are exactly the same, but their videos are less well made.

    Replies: @Sean

    5371, I know you would say that to my face, and that is why I respect you.

    ‘Twas not I who called them moderate, which is a relative term. The original uprising in Syria was heavily secular, and got massacred by Assad. The current moderates are the most moderate of what is left after Assad has used his Russian supplied weapons to mass murder the population in the non IS areas. The US and Russia would not tolerate any IS victory over Assad, so why on earth would Assad not work out that a strong Islamic State is his greatest asset to stay in power? It is common knowledge that Islamic State is not suffering reverses at the hands of Assad, and far from attacking his forces, they and are actually attacking harmless sects for the purpose of woman stealing. The most-moderate-of-what-is-left Syrian opposition have actually been attacked by IS allies.

    Syria conflict: No sign of Assad regime crumbling, BBC Middle East editor, Damascus, 14 September 2015 Islamic State is strong, the Russians are giving Assad 100% backing, and he knows the Americans will never let IS defeat him. So what does he do?

    • Replies: @schmenz
    @Sean

    Sean:

    With due respect, perhaps you should rely less on US/mainstream propaganda regarding Syria and Assad and more on common sense - and other news sources. Your view of Assad, Russia and what is really going on over there simply does not correspond to the facts.

    Consortium News, UNZ Review, Syrian Perspective, The Saker, Israel Shamir, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and many others have a clearer idea of what is happening in that sad land.

    Regards...

  11. Look for this to get corrected. I saw the video of the guy who said that say it to congress, and he wasn’t very poised, and I think he meant four or five thousand. If not, the guy deserves honors for honesty.

  12. A man who bets on greed and dishonesty won’t be wrong too often.

    Chapter IX, Most males have an unhealthy tendency to obey laws. (p. 82)
    https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Robert_A._Heinlein

    It’s all legal. Texas terrorist with a timebomb caught.

  13. @Priss Factor
    5 billion brought down the gov in Ukraine.

    Spend more.

    Btw, what gives US the right to bring down governments around the world?

    Why isn't anyone questioning this criminal behavior?

    Replies: @CK, @oh its just me

    1 little 2 little 3 little hydrogen bombs … multiply rinse repeat. Might makes “The Right to do…” whatever it is that is done that offends someone without reciprocal capability. When someone mightier comes along then they will have the right of it.
    This is the essence of all morality and all of history, it is why the USA is so determined to stop the Silk Road initiatives and why the USA is determined to militarize space.
    Because like so many other things, Might can go slip sliding away with time and ossification.

  14. @Priss Factor
    5 billion brought down the gov in Ukraine.

    Spend more.

    Btw, what gives US the right to bring down governments around the world?

    Why isn't anyone questioning this criminal behavior?

    Replies: @CK, @oh its just me

    Even if someone did, it’s not going to make it into MSM.

  15. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    It’s really amazing, isn’t it? What exactly were these ‘moderates’ supposed to be fighting for? Did they have any belief in something or were they to be mere puppets of the US? If the latter it hardly seems likely they would want to take too many risks. Any look at insurgency movements shows that in cases where there are a number of them operating against a particular foe the stronger one swallows up the smaller ones by absorbing them or eliminating them; there’s only room for one set of leaders. I wonder if they were taught how to make IEDs, knowledge that can be imparted and used elsewhere against American soldiers. Funding and training terrorists is what this is.

  16. @Discard
    @J

    Wasn't that the Ghurkas?

    Replies: @John Derbyshire

    Sherpa: mountain porter.
    Gurkha: fearless slaughter.

    • Replies: @TWS
    @John Derbyshire

    Did you read the article about the Gurkha who stopped a robbery on a train? It sounded like something Robert E Howard wrote.

    Replies: @Harry Baldwin

    , @J
    @John Derbyshire

    Thanks for the correction Discard. I meant those Mongolian looking fighters that terrorized Argentine soldiers in the Falkland war.

    , @Olorin
    @John Derbyshire

    And yet I flash to John Huston's version of Billy Fish.

    Replies: @Busby

  17. Translation tip: when a news reporter or politician refers to “moderates” in the Middle East, he usually means “slightly-less-fanatical Islamists“. Mohammedan versions of the Christian Democrats they ain’t.

    In war and conflict, it’s usually the moderates who disappear first. People defending their right to go to discos and listen to rock music will never fight as hard as people motivated by blood and religion. As the War Nerd wrote of Syria, “it’s just not safe declaring yourself a Unitarian in an environment like that“.

  18. How much would “Steve Austin”/Lee Majors, the “$6 Million Man” cost in 2015 dollars?

    • Replies: @snorlax
    @International Jew

    $32 million

    But perhaps these guys are really great at hitting a baseball.

  19. @International Jew
    How much would "Steve Austin"/Lee Majors, the "$6 Million Man" cost in 2015 dollars?

    Replies: @snorlax

    $32 million

    But perhaps these guys are really great at hitting a baseball.

  20. Sherpa: mountain porter.
    Gurkha: fearless slaughter.
    Derba: timely info.

  21. In war and conflict, it’s usually the moderates who disappear first. People defending their right to go to discos and listen to rock music will never fight as hard as people motivated by blood and religion. As the War Nerd wrote of Syria, “it’s just not safe declaring yourself a Unitarian in an environment like that“.

    If you believe Cass Sunstein, moderates tend to disappear, period.

  22. The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the apocalypse"] says:

    Update: Pat Casey hypothesizes that the general testifying to Congress might have botched up trying to say “four or five thousand”

    Numbers are hard when you are melanin enhanced.

  23. @John Derbyshire
    @Discard

    Sherpa: mountain porter.
    Gurkha: fearless slaughter.

    Replies: @TWS, @J, @Olorin

    Did you read the article about the Gurkha who stopped a robbery on a train? It sounded like something Robert E Howard wrote.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    @TWS

    The facts may have been slightly less spectacular than the story that was widely reported, though still impressive.

    http://bowieknifefightsfighters.blogspot.com/2011/01/gurkha-fights-train-bandits-with-kukri.html

  24. @John Derbyshire
    @Discard

    Sherpa: mountain porter.
    Gurkha: fearless slaughter.

    Replies: @TWS, @J, @Olorin

    Thanks for the correction Discard. I meant those Mongolian looking fighters that terrorized Argentine soldiers in the Falkland war.

  25. Update: Pat Casey hypothesizes that the general testifying to Congress might have botched up trying to say “four or five thousand” …

    That seems unlikely given that others are reporting that something like 58 were trained.

  26. So there are only 4 or 5 people in Syria who are neither ISIS nor Assadites.

    Sounds about right.

    • Replies: @tbraton
    @countenance

    "So there are only 4 or 5 people in Syria who are neither ISIS nor Assadites.

    Sounds about right."

    This is what I posted on TAC about a year ago:

    "tbraton says:
    September 26, 2014 at 12:56 pm
    Well, even Administration officials concede that it will take at least a year to train a force of 5,000 “moderate Syrians” to fight ISIS, which is long enough for Obama to forget the promise. I personally think it will take far longer to find even 5,000 “moderate Syrian” fighters."

  27. No its 4 or 5. The whole thing has been a disaster. A few hundred were trained, and promptly massacred. The US trains a few and sends them out to be slaughtered. Its ridiculous.

    Syria is basically Iran and Russia vs. Turkey and the ISIS/Islamists. That’s it.

    Obama is simply incompetent, even by Affirmative Action standards. And that’s saying a lot.

    BTW, he’s sacked most of the White High Command and replaced them with reliable Black guys.

  28. @Sean
    @5371

    5371, I know you would say that to my face, and that is why I respect you.

    'Twas not I who called them moderate, which is a relative term. The original uprising in Syria was heavily secular, and got massacred by Assad. The current moderates are the most moderate of what is left after Assad has used his Russian supplied weapons to mass murder the population in the non IS areas. The US and Russia would not tolerate any IS victory over Assad, so why on earth would Assad not work out that a strong Islamic State is his greatest asset to stay in power? It is common knowledge that Islamic State is not suffering reverses at the hands of Assad, and far from attacking his forces, they and are actually attacking harmless sects for the purpose of woman stealing. The most-moderate-of-what-is-left Syrian opposition have actually been attacked by IS allies.

    Syria conflict: No sign of Assad regime crumbling, BBC Middle East editor, Damascus, 14 September 2015 Islamic State is strong, the Russians are giving Assad 100% backing, and he knows the Americans will never let IS defeat him. So what does he do?

    Replies: @schmenz

    Sean:

    With due respect, perhaps you should rely less on US/mainstream propaganda regarding Syria and Assad and more on common sense – and other news sources. Your view of Assad, Russia and what is really going on over there simply does not correspond to the facts.

    Consortium News, UNZ Review, Syrian Perspective, The Saker, Israel Shamir, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and many others have a clearer idea of what is happening in that sad land.

    Regards…

  29. @John Derbyshire
    @Discard

    Sherpa: mountain porter.
    Gurkha: fearless slaughter.

    Replies: @TWS, @J, @Olorin

    And yet I flash to John Huston’s version of Billy Fish.

    • Replies: @Busby
    @Olorin

    Billy was a Ghurka. Oh by Jove, yes.

  30. Well thank heavens we purchased the Moderately Priced Rebels instead of the expensive ones.

    Speaking of which, have our ever reliable Turkish allies recently bombed any empty buildings that Daesh mysteriously vacated a few days before? Hopefully those boys didn’t leave any of their American made weapons behind. Wouldn’t want them raping and pillaging the countryside with inferior weaponry.

  31. @countenance
    So there are only 4 or 5 people in Syria who are neither ISIS nor Assadites.

    Sounds about right.

    Replies: @tbraton

    “So there are only 4 or 5 people in Syria who are neither ISIS nor Assadites.

    Sounds about right.”

    This is what I posted on TAC about a year ago:

    “tbraton says:
    September 26, 2014 at 12:56 pm
    Well, even Administration officials concede that it will take at least a year to train a force of 5,000 “moderate Syrians” to fight ISIS, which is long enough for Obama to forget the promise. I personally think it will take far longer to find even 5,000 “moderate Syrian” fighters.”

  32. @TWS
    @John Derbyshire

    Did you read the article about the Gurkha who stopped a robbery on a train? It sounded like something Robert E Howard wrote.

    Replies: @Harry Baldwin

    The facts may have been slightly less spectacular than the story that was widely reported, though still impressive.

    http://bowieknifefightsfighters.blogspot.com/2011/01/gurkha-fights-train-bandits-with-kukri.html

  33. @Olorin
    @John Derbyshire

    And yet I flash to John Huston's version of Billy Fish.

    Replies: @Busby

    Billy was a Ghurka. Oh by Jove, yes.

  34. @Duke of Qin
    $500 million sure doesn't go very far in Washington. I suspect a lot of foreign military contracts function in the same vein as foreign aid or major charities. I.e. the lion's share of the money is eaten up by personnel costs and miscellaneous expenses. The right sort of people whether it be swpl girls from proper schools or fellow academy graduates don't work for free, nor do they fly coach. Five hundred million is certainly enough to cobble together a motley collection of unshaven swarthy mercenaries that are Syrians as long as nobody asks too closely. That they have only found 5 is probably due to a heady mix of earnestness, incompetence, and rapaciousness that characterises American do-gooder(evil) endeavors.

    Replies: @Busby

    I’d be I interested in seeing the books on this project. I think there are several possibilities.

    1. The DoD “hired” some private military outfit. I think this is least likely because

    2. The DoD could “hire” Army SF to do the whole deal from soup to nuts while “charging” all the expenses off against the fund cite for the project. Or,

    3. The DoD “hires” a certain secret civilian agency to do the project and uses the funds to pay for the expenses at some ridiculous mark up over actual “cost”.

    Regardless, I thought originally this was not serious. The way you actually do this is either to start very small in country and build up from a squad or platoon size, or you move a large number out of the combat zone into an isolated area. Say the remote desert of Saudi Arabia or similar. You train them for months and take them on small field trips into the combat zone. Long story short, it would take several years to build something from scratch. We no longer have that kind of patience. You can bet your boots that every officer and NCO involved in this fiasco said from the beginning that this was not going to work without a long term plan.
    One can only now wait for the last two stages of every project: punishment of the innocent and promotions and honors for the uninvolved.

  35. To be fair, the market rate for getting an Arab to fight for anything beyond a blood feud involving his cousins at most is probably up there in the millions.

  36. So how his million was spent? Was it spent to buy them booze,prayer mat,religious books,rosaries and tobe of foods! I doubt .
    It was spent the way America spends the money as foreign aid . The money given is bought to buy American bombs military gadgets , big army vehicles ,communication system and buying loads of pornographs and sex toys in case they come handy to depict the current friends as sex addict in future .
    Sometime the money given to is spent in bribing American middlemen as Afghanistani found out
    to get things done that American government has already planned for.

    Some of these money are spent in paying for the advices nd expertise offered by the fresh graduates of American universities employed by the occupied country . Afganistan was lying a lot of those money back to US and so was Provisional Government in Iraq following 2003.
    I have some nmes also Michael Rubin sent her daughter to advise Iraqis. So was one of Michale Ledeen. There was also the brother of Bush’s press secretary .Ari Flesher.
    And the screwed up American citizen scream why they hate us when we spend so much money on them.

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