Tags: Barack Obama | Iraq in Crisis | ISIS/Islamic State | Middle East | Syria | War on Terrorism | CIA

CIA Report: Arming Rebels, Without Support, Rarely Works

CIA Report: Arming Rebels, Without Support, Rarely Works
(Baraa al-Halabi/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 15 October 2014 08:59 AM

A CIA review of conflicts in which the agency covertly trained and equipped rebels in regional conflicts, similar to the president's plan to combat the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria, found that in most cases the operations had minimal impact on long-term outcomes.

According to The New York Times, the agency produced several studies in 2012 and 2013 during the administration's debate over whether to arm Syrian rebels to fight the regime of President Bashar Assad.

The doubtful conclusions about the effectiveness of the strategy may explain why the president was reluctant to do so at the time, and is casting doubts on whether the president's current strategy in Syria will be successful.

"One of the things that Obama wanted to know was: Did this ever work?" said one former senior administration official who participated in the debate about the classified report, which the source characterized as "pretty dour in its conclusions."

Ultimately, President Barack Obama came close to admitting as much during an interview published with The New Yorker this year about whether he should have armed the rebels sooner, as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta recently admitted they had advocated.

"Very early in this process, I actually asked the CIA to analyze examples of America financing and supplying arms to an insurgency in a country that actually worked out well. And they couldn't come up with much," Obama told the New Yorker.

But a spokeswoman for the National Security Agency, Bernadette Meehan, has now given a different interpretation of what the president said, telling the Times, "Without characterizing any specific intelligence products, the president was referring to the fact that providing money or arms alone to an opposition movement is far from a guarantee of success."

"We have been very clear about that from the outset as we have articulated our strategy in Syria," Meehan said. "That is why our support to the moderate Syrian opposition has been deliberate, targeted, and most importantly, one element of a multifaceted strategy to create the conditions for a political solution to the conflict."

The report found that there was just one case where arming rebels was successful, and that was when a mission had the support of intelligence officers working with the rebels on the ground, as was the case in the Afghan-Soviet war when Pakistani intelligence officers helped direct the American operation.

Even in that case, however, the trained fighters later formed the core of al-Qaida, using Afghanistan as their base for the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Times reported.

There are similar concerns that weapons given to moderate rebels in Syria in the fight against the Islamic State could ultimately end up in the hands of al-Qaida-linked groups such as the Nusra Front, the Times said.

The report has generated deep skepticism among senior officials in the administration about the wisdom of the current strategy to arm Syrian rebels in the fight against the Islamic State without using Americans on the ground, the Times reported.

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Newsfront
A CIA review of conflicts in which the agency covertly trained and equipped rebels in regional conflicts, similar to the plan to combat the Islamic State in Syria, found that in most cases the operations had minimal impact on long-term outcomes.
CIA, ISIS, arms, rebels, terrorists, Syria, Iraq
504
2014-59-15
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 08:59 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved