I really really want to be wrong about thinking this is a huge mistake, but I have a very bad feeling about arming people with values and loyalties so antithetical to ours with American weapons. My greatest fear is that these weapons will eventually be turned on American soldiers, and will lead to more Christians and ethnic minorities being slaughtered in the Middle East.
Why on earth do we think this is a good idea?
Via USA Today:
A wary Congress voted Wednesday to authorize President Obama’s mission to arm and train Syrian rebel forces as part of the administration’s effort to dismantle the threat posed by the Islamic State militant group.
The bipartisan 273-156 vote came after days of debate in which lawmakers across the political spectrum expressed doubts about the scope and merits of the mission but conceded that the potential threat to the U.S. is too great to ignore.
Roll call of the votes, here.
The authorization is limited in scope to training up to 5,000 members of the Syrian opposition in Saudi Arabia. It provides no new funding and requires the administration to provide status reports to Congress. The Obama administration said the mission may be funded by international contributions, but the resolution authorizes the Pentagon to shift funds from other accounts if necessary.
Lawmakers expressed doubts about the ability to vet the Syrian rebel forces and warned that the arms provided to them could ultimately land in enemy hands. “We don’t know if somehow down the line they will turn our guns right back on us,” said Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., a member of the House Armed Services Committee, who opposed the resolution.
Sanchez also said there was not enough of an international coalition behind a strategy that is still being formed. “I’d like to know who our coalition is, and what they’re going to do before I vote for any plan,” she said.
For once I agree with Loretta Sanchez.