September 10, 2015

The Pentagon's Syria debacle

Featuring Nicholas Heras

Source: Politico

With all the U.S.-trained fighters dead, captured or missing and their leader in the hands of Al Qaeda, top U.S. commanders are scrambling this week to determine how to revive the half-billion dollar program to create a moderate Syrian army to fight the Islamic State.

The outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, who viewed the force as a critical element of the military strategy in both Syria and Iraq, is conferring with top Pentagon officials behind closed doors to figure out what options are left for what is widely considered a policy and military failure, according to senior defense officials.

"We are trying to learn from experience," Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said Wednesday, while acknowledging raising a rebel army is "hard to implement, particularly in a place like Syria, and so we’re going to learn and get better at it as time goes on."

Read the full article at Politico.

  • Nicholas Heras

    Fellow, Middle East Security Program

    Nicholas A. Heras is a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), working in the Middle East Security Program. He is also a Senior Analyst at the Jamestown Found...