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Trump ends covert CIA program to arm anti-Assad rebels in Syria, a move sought by Mos

Deuce Deuce

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Oct 21, 2016
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From WaPo

President Trump has decided to end the CIA’s covert program to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels battling the government of Bashar al-Assad, a move long sought by Russia, according to U.S. officials.

The program was a central plank of a policy begun by the Obama administration in 2013 to put pressure on Assad to step aside, but even its backers have questioned its efficacy since Russia deployed forces in Syria two years later.

Officials said the phasing out of the secret program reflects Trump’s interest in finding ways to work with Russia, which saw the anti-Assad program as an assault on its interests. The shuttering of the program is also an acknowledgment of Washington’s limited leverage and desire to remove Assad from power.

...

After the Trump-Putin meeting, the United States and Russia announced an agreement to back a new cease-fire in southwest Syria, along the Jordanian border, where many of the CIA-backed rebels have long operated. Trump described the limited cease-fire deal as one of the benefits of a constructive working relationship with Moscow.

The move to end the secret program to arm the anti-Assad rebels was not a condition of the cease-fire negotiations, which were already well underway, said U.S. officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the secret program.

“This is a momentous decision,” said a current official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a covert program. “Putin won in Syria.”

The decision will not affect a separate Pentagon-led effort to work with U.S.-backed Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State. And the CIA-backed rebels were part of the larger moderate opposition.

Some analysts said the decision was likely to empower more radical groups inside Syria and damage the credibility of the United States.

“We are falling into a Russian trap,” said Charles Lister, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute, who focuses on the Syrian resistance. “We are making the moderate resistance more and more vulnerable. . . . We are really cutting them off at the neck.”

Others said it was recognition of Assad’s entrenched position in Syria.

“It’s probably a nod to reality,” said Ilan Goldenberg, a former Obama administration official and director of the Middle East Security Program at the Center for a New American Security.
 

ahoyhoy

Unconfirmed Member
Mar 25, 2008
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A lot of the arms were probably ending up in the hands of ISIS.

Probably for the best for the time being.
 

Vimes

Member
Mar 11, 2016
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Moscow wouldn't fit. Thanks, fixed title.


Anyway, what a nightmare. However badly Americans will suffer under Trump, the Syrians and Yemenis will have it a thousand times worse.
 

mnannola

Member
Oct 3, 2009
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Wow doing something that Russia wanted. I'm sure this is completely unrelated to to the Trump-Putin talks at G20, the election collusion, kompromat, piss tapes, all of that stuff. Nope, nothing to see here everyone. It's just politics.
 

LegendofJoe

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Mar 31, 2005
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I am suspicious of everything Trump does but I agree with this. Assad cannot be removed from power as long as he has direct support from Russia; continuing to arm opposition forces will only result in more innocent people dying.
 

Reverend Funk

Comfy Penetration
Jan 27, 2014
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The situation is pretty complicated and this might be the right decision, but anything that trump does that helps russia smells like shit to me.
 

Zolo

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Jan 3, 2015
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The situation is pretty complicated and this might be the right decision, but anything that trump does that helps russia smells like shit to me.

Trump himself obviously has ulterior motives for this, but yeah....this seems like the right move since we can't really do anything with Russia backing Assad.
 
Aug 22, 2015
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People reflexively hating this - why?

It's another move that empowers Russia. This is a really complicated issue, but it's hard to say that Trump would have done this if Russia wasn't involved. Don't forget that it was just a few weeks ago that Trump was making the statement that Assad needed to go at any cost.
 

Gutek

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Oct 1, 2015
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People reflexively hating this - why?

Because helping Assad and Russia is the wrong way. Putting pressure on Russia to stop their operations in Syria would've been the right call. Instead, we just caved to Russian interests.
 

PBY

Banned
Dec 12, 2007
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It's another move that empowers Russia. This is a really complicated issue, but it's hard to say that Trump would have done this if Russia wasn't involved. Don't forget that it was just a few weeks ago that Trump was making the statement that Assad needed to go at any cost.

Sure the motivations could be perverse (we have zero way of knowing) - but the outcome seems positive.
 

Dopus

Banned
Nov 6, 2013
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Because helping Assad and Russia is the wrong way. Putting pressure on Russia to stop their operations in Syria would've been the right call. Instead, we just caved to Russian interests.

Arming the rebels isn't a solution. Russia isn't going anywhere in Syria. Just how do you propose we stop Russian operations in Syria exactly?
 

Gutek

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Oct 1, 2015
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Arming the rebels isn't a solution. Russia isn't going anywhere in Syria. Just how do you propose we stop Russian operations in Syria exactly?

The same way they're ending ours right now. Hardball diplomacy.
 

Gutek

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Oct 1, 2015
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Give me an idea of what hardball diplomacy looks like in a situation like Syria.

Are you joking? If we had a competent president, this thread may have read "Putin ending funding to Assad". Instead we have a Russian stooge pushover, and people are cheering for him.
 

bonesmccoy

Banned
Mar 1, 2009
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Maybe, maybe not. It's a little unnerving to know that decisions are being made simply on the basis of how Trump can help out his good buddy Putin.

This would've happened under Obama, or rather, a Democrat like him, too. This entire project was questionable from the start, and after what, 6 years into has yet to show anything other than a lot of refugees and dead Syrians.

Israel and KSA are going to be angry.
 

PBY

Banned
Dec 12, 2007
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Are you joking? If we had a competent president, this thread may have read "Putin ending funding to Assad". Instead we have a Russian stooge pushover, and people are cheering for him.

No... no this thread wouldn't have?
 

leatherhat

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Feb 7, 2011
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Are you joking? If we had a competent president, this thread may have read "Putin ending funding to Assad". Instead we have a Russian stooge pushover, and people are cheering for him.

And then Assad would fall and Syria would be a beautiful and peaceful democracy!
 

sankt-Antonio

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Jun 22, 2008
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That seems sensible actually. Seems like Putin could talk sense into him. All these US think tanks must be fuming right now.
 

TheRagnCajun

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Feb 23, 2007
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Arming the rebels isn't a solution. Russia isn't going anywhere in Syria. Just how do you propose we stop Russian operations in Syria exactly?

Everyone seems to have an opinion of what the solution isn't but rarely offer up the better alternative. Trump certainly had no idea when he was asked about it during campaigning. All he could do is criticize Hilary's ideas. I don't objectively know whether Trump made a good move here or not, but I sincerely doubt that it was his idea or that he had America's best interests at heart.
 

Dopus

Banned
Nov 6, 2013
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Are you joking? If we had a competent president, this thread may have read "Putin ending funding to Assad". Instead we have a Russian stooge pushover, and people are cheering for him.

No, I'm not joking. Give me an idea of what it would look like, not some hypothetical headline.

Need I remind you that Obama and Clinton along with Cameron rejected the potential peace deal being brokered by the Russians. This would have potentially paved the way for a transition of Government and should have been explored. - https://www.theatlantic.com/interna...0/the-syria-deal-that-could-have-been/280274/

If we're being honest here, Trump is a disgrace. He's an incompetent fool. But your idea of hardball diplomacy is a dangerous game when we're talking about this particular situation given the Russian and Iranian position.
 

Carpe Carnim

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Aug 3, 2016
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Sure - but I have the entire history of the US supporting my position. When has arming a rebel faction ever worked?

France's arming of American rebels...

As far as the matter at hand, this probably does little to stop bloodshed, because they will still be getting small arms and RPGs from SA. This will empower the radicals to take in the newly adrift rebels and offer them weapons and cash.
 

gutter_trash

Banned
Feb 4, 2005
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the first smart move out of the Trump White House.

It's sad to say but the removal of dictators in Iraq and Libya were big mistakes.
 

CopperPuppy

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Sep 10, 2014
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Apparently not because Russia.

Just say Trump and/or Russia, and see a good number of GAF go the other way without thought. Just like saying Obama to the GOP/Trump.

Definitely the same thing.

A majority of the first 20 or so posts support the move. So what are you talking about? Right, "a good number." Call out specific posters or ditch the straw-man speak, because the majority of the posters ITT agree with you.
 

ArkkAngel007

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May 27, 2011
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I wonder why that is?

I'm not saying there isn't reason, but that doesn't change how hypocritical it is. It's like banging on about banning guns, then talking about how you need to get a gun for those same archaic reasons that put up the Amendment that change is being called for.

Arming rebels isn't working, and has come around to bite the US and others time and time again. We can't enforce no fly zones without the other side enforcing back. What sanctions do you think are going to "win" Syria? And have to do with Syria, and not revenge for "emails" and the election as some have called for.


Grow up from "both sides are the same" hang up. That was not what I said. Trump and the GOP have given us plenty reason to push back against anything from their corner, unlike their juvenile blocking of everything from the go because the Democratic party and the American people had the gall to put in a black president not once, but twice.

That however doesn't excuse taking that same page from the playbook.
 

BADMAN

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May 17, 2015
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We were so close to installing democracy in Syria tho. Seriously this is a huge fucking grey area that's complicated enough for me to not have an opinion for either way.
 

sflufan

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May 5, 2007
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Just to be clear: this doesn't impact the Pentagon's involvement with the Kurdish rebel groups like the YPG.
 

GrapeApes

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Jul 21, 2007
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France's arming of American rebels...

As far as the matter at hand, this probably does little to stop bloodshed, because they will still be getting small arms and RPGs from SA. This will empower the radicals to take in the newly adrift rebels and offer them weapons and cash.
I think people see that we're stopping arming of rebels against Assad and think the war is over. These guys still going to get weapons from somewhere else. Also, we're still arming rebels against IS. This war continues either way but we've just decreased influence for no real reason.