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I have not been getting any sleep the last 2 days. An hour of sleep here, an hour of sleep there. I’ve also only had 2 meals in the last 3 days. Something’s gotta give.
Congress Just Gave Trump the Authority to Send Surface to Air Missiles to Syrian Fighters.
President elect-Donald Trump’s campaign focused heavily on a Syria policy that involved working with Russia. He has not yet signaled whether he will expand or reduce the current Pentagon and CIA-run programs that train and provide weapons to what is known as the “Vetted Syrian Opposition.” With Syrian rebels losing ground in their last major stronghold of Aleppo and U.S.-backed Kurdish and Arab fighters making steady progress against the Islamic State, the Trump administration will have decide if providing the country with surface-to-air missiles will do any good.
“This provision could be the first step toward a profound shift in U.S. policy. … It could be interpreted by the Trump administration as a de facto green light to export MANPADS to the rebels,” said Matt Schroeder, a senior researcher with the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey.
The language in the defense bill stipulates that if MANPADS are to be sent to certain Syrian opposition groups, a detailed intelligence assessment of the unit receiving the weapons must be provided by the Pentagon and State department. Officials will also need to share how many MANPADS are to be sent and for how long, as well as how the group fits into “broader conflict in Syria.” The bill would not require congressional approval, only that the Pentagon and State Department submit their report “to the appropriate congressional committees” and wait 30 days.
Schroeder said the bill does not contain any language that ensures the weapons are stored properly or that they are monitored with GPS-type technology.
Trump Ends Covert CIA Program to Arm Anti-Assad Rebels in syria, A Move Sought by Moscow.
Earlier this month, five days into the first cease-fire in southwest Syria, Trump indicated that another agreement was under discussion with Moscow. “We are working on the second cease-fire in a very rough part of Syria,” Trump said. “If we get that and a few more, all of a sudden we are going to have no bullets being fired in Syria.”
One big potential risk of shutting down the CIA program is that the United States may lose its ability to block other countries, such as Turkey and Persian Gulf allies, from funneling more sophisticated weapons — including man-portable air-defense systems, or MANPADS — to anti-Assad rebels, including more radical groups.
It’s very clear that WaPo is not looking out for the interest of the American people. They like the idea of making extremist actors in the middle east stronger, but the minute something gets in the way, they get all defensive and criticize whoever opposes them.
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