So, now, here we are again aiding rebel groups like the “Army of the Mujahideen” in a fight against other mujahideen while the Islamic State gathers its strength and mocks us with beheading after beheading.
Which moderate rebels will we arm? Will it be the rebels who’ve reportedly turned previous arms shipments over to Islamic State fighters? Or how about the rebels who reportedly reached a truce with the Islamic State? Or perhaps we’ll give arms to the guys who allegedly sold Steven Sotloff to his beheaders?
And I must confess that I’m confused about the “vetting” we’ll be able to do without boots on the ground in Syria. When I was in Iraq and we were equipping local Sunnis to join the ”Sons of Iraq” that helped turn the tide during the surge, we kept a very close watch on their activities with frequent meetings, frequent patrols, and surprise visits and inspections. We lived with real concern that they’d turn against us and took steps to make sure that didn’t happen. If we don’t have combat troops in Syria, how can we take similar precautions?