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Obama's Strategy: Bomb US-Trained Forces Armed with US Weapons


September 10, 2014
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com

With US arms sent to Syria and US vehicles stolen from Mosul the bulk of the ISIS arsenal, the Obama Administration now believes that the solution to the ISIS problem would be to throw even more arms at Syrian rebels, and even more vehicles to Iraq, doubling down on that problem.

http://news.antiwar.com/2014/09/09/despite-isis-getting-us-arms-obama-wants-to-send-more-to-syria-rebels/

Despite ISIS Getting US Arms,
Obama Wants to Send More to Syria Rebels

Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com

(September 9, 2014) -- Yesterday's big report was that much of the weaponry that ISIS is using, both small arms and anti-tank missiles, were actually provided by the US, for the "moderate" Syrian rebels. [See next story.]

It wasn't a big surprise that this was going to happen, though the White House tried to spin this as vindication for their decision not to send even more weapons to the rebels, because they had to be super careful to avoid the arms falling into ISIS hands. Which they did anyway.

But they did manage to avoid making matters much, much worse, an oversight that President Obama is seeking to correct with today's announcement that he's going to push Congress to dramatically increase funding for the arms for the Syrian rebels.

With US arms sent to Syria and US vehicles stolen from Mosul the bulk of the ISIS arsenal, the Obama Administration now believes that the solution to the ISIS problem would be to throw even more arms at Syrian rebels, and even more vehicles to Iraq, doubling down on that problem.



Made in the USA: Report Shows
ISIS Using US Arms from 'Syria Rebels'

Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com

(September 8, 2014) -- From the moment the US began sending lethal arms to Syrian rebel factions, there were a chorus of people expressing fears that those arms would end up in the "wrong hands," and US officials insisted they were going to carefully vet everyone who got those weapons.

You know who got a lot of those weapons? ISIS. Just as everyone predicted would happen, once the arms were smuggled into Syria, they quickly ended up spread out among rebel factions, both pro-US and not, and a new report shows massive amounts of ISIS armament was actually stamped "Property of US Govt."

Some of those small arms were surely looted from Iraqi bases during the offensive in Mosul, which is also where ISIS got most of its arsenal of US-made military vehicles. That's not the whole story, however.
The ISIS weapons, cataloged after being captured by Kurdish forces, also included US-made anti-tank missiles that appear to have been part of a delivery provided to the Free Syrian Army (FSA), one of those carefully vetted rebel factions.

How the TOW missiles got from FSA "moderates" to ISIS is anyone's guess, but the factions are not so starkly divided as officials have imagined, and fighters and gear often flow back and forth.
Pinning down the exact route the US arms took to get to ISIS will be all but impossible, as ISIS appears to have had the foresight to weld over the serial numbers to prevent any conclusive proof of the chain of transactions.

The Syrian rebel factions still getting US arms loudly denied that they were providing their arms to ISIS, and insisted the "overwhelming majority" of US military aid is still being used by the FSA to fight America's enemies.

That's a fiction ISIS seems only too willing to continue facilitating, as it would keep those massive US arms shipments flowing, giving ISIS a convenient source of arms as the US air war continues to boost its recruitment numbers.


Obama Lays Out Broad Strategy for
Years of War Against ISIS

Jason Ditz / ANtiWar.com

(September 9, 2014) -- All of the specifics won't be available until Wednesday night, but those who were given a "preview" of President Obama's strategy for the ISIS war say he is laying out a massive undertaking to wipe out the militant group worldwide.

Brookings President Strobe Talbott says that the administration presented ISIS as a "unique danger, not just for the region, but for the world," and one that the US could only respond to by exterminating it.

What started out as an "emergency" humanitarian campaign to save people trapped on Mount Sinjar, most of whom weren't trapped there to begin with, has escalated in a matter of weeks into an open-ended war with ISIS that even the most optimistic Pentagon planners say is going to take years.

While he publicly hasn't confirmed the plans yet, expanding the war from Iraq into neighboring Syria also seems a foregone conclusion at some point, as officials have been downplaying the idea that they could stop ISIS in one country without stopping them planet-wide.

A global war with no strategy for victory and no end in sight certainly wasn't what the American public were presented with when the campaign began, but White House officials continue to deny that "mission creep" is occurring.

Mission creep has long been a very slow process of escalating the goals of a war, but the administration still hasn't made it clear that what they've set out so far is the totality of the war's goals, and perhaps more disconcertingly, it's escalated at a pace far beyond any reasonable definition of "creep."

The White House tried to pass off the expansion of the war into Anbar as protecting the Baghdad Airport, on the notion that if the Haditha Dam was destroyed it might conceivably threaten the airport, just under 200 miles downstream and not actually built along the shoreline.

But wiping out ISIS in multiple countries and putting something more pro-US in its place is a far broader goal than "keeping the embassy safe" or some other platitude about why the new war was launched, and the scariest part is we aren't even sure that's where it'll finish off, with officials tacking new goals on seemingly every couple of days. Obama's Wednesday speech will in no way resemble his start of the war speech, and his speech a few weeks down the road will probably be starkly more bellicose, as the war keeps expanding.


Obama to Congress:
I Don't Need Vote for ISIS War

Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com

(September 9, 2014) -- President Obama invited Congressional leaders to the White House today to give them a preview of the Wednesday speech on the ISIS war, with officials saying he wanted the Hill's backing on the conflict. Instead, he just told them how they don't matter.

Obama told the leaders he would welcome anything that shows a "united front" behind his new war, but that he maintains, as he's always maintained, that he has the authority to launch the war without them.

The White House readout of the meeting said Obama told Congress he believes "that the nation is stronger and our efforts more effective" when Congress backs the president, and that he will continue to engage in "consultation" with the handful of Congressmen he deems worth talking to.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R – KY) didn't directly dispute the White House assessment, but said he believes that it is in the president's "best interest" to ask Congress to endorse the war.

There are two different bills working through Congress right now, one which endorses a three-year war without ground troops, and another which endorses an open-ended war with no limits.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

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