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Arm Syrian Rebels: CIA, Pentagon And Hillary Said Yes; Obama Just Said No

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Zero Hedge
Feb 8, 2013

It would appear the undecideds had it. The WSJ reports that a proposal to arm Syrian rebels was stalled by the White House (cough Obama cough) because of lingering questions about which rebels could be trusted with the arms, whether the transfers would make a difference in the campaign to remove Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, and whether the weapons would add to the suffering. It seems, however, that the Pentagon, the State Department, and the CIA were all gung ho for the plan last year as a Senate hearing today uncovered some of the facts (and disagreements). As WSJ notes, the disclosures thrust a spotlight on the extent to which President Barack Obama charts his own course in the face of calls to action by members of his own team, and on the extent of his caution about entering a new conflict. In the post-Kofi Annan talks break-down in June 2012, Hilary pushed to arm the rebels and the CIA said arms would “materially” affect the situation to overthrow Assad. With the introduction of Kerry, Hagel, and Brennan, the tensions may flare once again though only the latter has suggested anything but backing Obama’s perspective.

Via WSJ, Obama Blocked Rebel Arms

A proposal to arm Syrian rebels was backed by the Pentagon, the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency, but the White House decided not to act on the plan.

The White House stalled the proposal because of lingering questions about which rebels could be trusted with the arms, whether the transfers would make a difference in the campaign to remove Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and whether the weapons would add to the suffering, the U.S. officials said. A U.S. official cited the findings of a CIA team of analysts, which cast doubt on the impact of arming the rebels on the conflict.

The disclosures thrust a spotlight on the extent to which President Barack Obama charts his own course in the face of calls to action by members of his own team, and on the extent of his caution about entering a new conflict. The White House declined to comment on internal administration deliberations.

In the months after the start of the conflict in Syria in March 2011, the Pentagon, the State Department and the CIA began presenting the White House with multiple options for intervening with force, covert action or arms supplies. Options have included establishing a no-fly zone, bombing Syrian aircraft in their hangars, and funneling light arms and actionable intelligence to a select group of American-vetted rebels.

This article was posted: Friday, February 8, 2013 at 6:33 am





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