It’s bad enough that $500 million was wasted on this boondoggle, with Republican Congressional approval. It’s bad enough that this lavishly funded program could only attract fifty “moderates” willing to be trained to fight the Islamic State. But now those fifty have compounded the ludicrousness of this entire endeavor by vanishing in Syria. Did they turn over their “four wheel drive pickup trucks” to the Islamic State and join its ranks? Possibly. Did they get waylaid by Islamic State jihadis who killed them and seized their fancy U.S.-funded pickups? Another possibility. Did they disappear to some relatively peaceful place, hoping to enjoy their American largesse unmolested there? Yet another possibility.
Whatever happened to them, one thing is certain: the U.S. will not end funding for this ridiculous program. If anything, Congress will pour even more taxpayer dollars into it.
…The dispute over aims has made it almost impossible for the U.S. and other allies to recruit young Syrians under the $500 million U.S. “train and equip” program. Hundreds of recruits reportedly walked off when they were asked to commit to fight only the Islamic State and not the Assad regime.
The first graduates of the course in Turkey, about 50 recruits, rolled into Syria two weeks ago in four wheel drive pickup trucks. But they haven’t been heard from since.
The U.S. goal was to train at least 5,000 fighters against the Islamic State this year alone….