Pentagon-trained rebels in Syria are reported to have betrayed their American backers and handed their weapons over to al-Qaeda in Syria immediately after re-entering the country. Fighters with Division 30, the “moderate” rebel division favoured by the United States, surrendered to the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, a raft of sources claimed on Monday night.Daniel Larison:
This is entirely unsurprising, and it drives home how irresponsible demands to “arm the rebels” in Syria have always been. Of course these weapons are ending up in the hands of jihadists. Jihadists and their allies make up the forces fighting against the Syrian regime, and any other anti-regime group is going to cooperate with them or be attacked and have their weapons plundered by them. . . . Syria hawks have promoted the fantasy that there are “moderates” that can be turned into an effective U.S. proxy in order to get the U.S. sucked into a conflict in which it had and still has no stake and no allies worth having.I suppose part of the problem is that Obama agreed to go along with the scheme while obviously believing that it has no chance of success, which is hardly a recipe for victory. But that does not mean that an administration with more "resolve" would do any better; likely a Rubio or Fiorina administration would only send more arms that would just as quickly end up in the hands of our enemies, and perhaps start dropping bombs that would kill lots of Syrians without fixing anything.