February 10, 2015

US effort to train Syrian rebels ramps up: Can Pentagon avoid past follies?

By Nicholas Heras

The United States effort to find and train “moderate” Syrian rebels to fight against the Islamic State and the regime of President Bashar al-Assad has begun in earnest, and it will be about as easy as searching for unicorns, experts have said.

About 100 American troops tasked with the job began arriving​ in theMiddle East earlier this month as part of President Obama's broader plan to stabilize Syria, which faces both a civil war and the rise of the Islamic State. A second wave of several hundred more US troops will arrive in a couple of weeks, according to Pentagon officials.

The recruiting and vetting effort is expected to take three to five months, with the training mission expected to begin in “early spring,” Defense Department officials estimate. The training will take six to eight months, they add.

Read the full article at The Christian Science Monitor.

  • 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...