More fantasy-based policymaking from Obama. He says that the Free Syrian Army will provide the ground troops to fight the Islamic State. He (and everyone else in Washington) ignores the fact that the Free Syrian Army is working with the Islamic State. “Obama to Present Case for Broader U.S. Mission Against Militants,” by Julie Hirschfeld Davis, New York Times, September 7, 2014:
President Obama will use a speech to the nation on Wednesday to make his case for launching a United States-led offensive against Sunni militants gaining ground in the Middle East, seeking to rally support for a broad military mission while reassuring the public he is not plunging American forces into another Iraq war.
“I’m preparing the country to make sure that we deal with a threat from” the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, Mr. Obama said in an interview broadcast Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“What I want people to understand,” he said, “is that over the course of months, we are going to be able to not just blunt the momentum” of the militants. “We are going to systematically degrade their capabilities; we’re going to shrink the territory that they control; and, ultimately, we’re going to defeat them,” he added….
The president was adamant that he had no intention of sending American combat troops to go after ISIS, repeating no fewer than three times during the interview that he would not do so, and calling the idea of putting United States boots on the ground “a profound mistake.”
“This is not going to be an announcement about U.S. ground troops,” Mr. Obama said. “This is not the equivalent of the Iraq war.”…
In the interview on Sunday, Mr. Obama said he envisioned the Free Syrian Army’s providing the ground presence needed to confront ISIS in Syria. He said that until a moderate Sunni opposition emerged, there was no real hope of ousting President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. But the opposition has been fractured, and the moderate militias are viewed as far less capable than ISIS.
“Our attitude towards Assad continues to be that through his actions, through using chemical weapons on his own people, dropping barrel bombs that killed innocent children, that he has foregone legitimacy,” Mr. Obama said. “But when it comes to our policy and the coalition that we’re putting together, our focus specifically is on ISIL.” (ISIL is the name used by administration officials for the militant group.)…
Here is the reality Obama is ignoring: “U.S.-Backed Free Syrian Army Operating Openly with ISIS, Al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra,” by Patrick Poole, PJ Media, September 3, 2014:
As the Obama administration struggles to address the threat from ISIS and plans to go to Congress in the coming weeks to up its commitment against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, multiple media reports indicate that the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) is operating openly with ISIS and other designated terrorist groups. And yet financial and military support for the FSA is the keystone to the administration’s policy in Syria….
Another practical problem developed with providing weapons to the FSA. As soon as weapons shipments from the CIA were arriving in Syria, the FSA weapons caches were being raided by jihadist groups, including ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra, the official al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, under very suspicious circumstances. The problem got so bad that by last December, both the U.S. and the UK had stopped weapons shipments to the FSA.But by April of this year, the Obama adminstration’s CIA weapons spigot was turned back on, with the FSA now receiving heavy weapons, including anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles. And in late June, President Obama asked Congress for $500 million to arm and train the FSA….