Obama taps star general to build army of Syrian "moderate" rebels

Nagata has experience in the area. U.S. military officials say Nagata helped devise much of U.S. special operations support for Jordan. These officials also say Nagata also has worked on plans with the CIA at the secret Jordanian base used to train up Syrian rebels under the still secret but well reported joint DOD-CIA program that began in 2012. Nagata is currently in charge of special operations command for Central Command, the military command that includes Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran.

Lawmakers who have been briefed on the new Syrian train and equip program—which unlike the old one is entirely under military command as opposed to the CIA—raised concerns that it will suffer from the same flaws as the CIA program that began in 2012.

“They can show you lots of information on who they trained, where they came from and what kind of gear we gave them,” one lawmaker told The Daily Beast about the CIA training program. “But they can’t tell you what happens to them once they cross the border into Syria.” This lawmaker said this is because Obama has opposed embedding any U.S. personnel inside the opposition units once they are trained. “This is like throwing a bunch of guns over the border and saying, ‘Good Luck.’”