02.05.2016 Author: Martin Berger

How Washington Has Been Profiting from “Helping Opposition Forces”?


A curious report has recently been published by Breitbart. It shows that an ever increasing number of Afghanistan National Security Forces (ANSF) operatives trained by US instructor is defecting to the Taliban. The report notes that over the last 10 years Washington has spent a total of 70 billion of American taxpayers’ dollars to train ANSF. One of such deserters confined that the skills which he received in training with American instructors proved to be extremely useful to him, since he’s now able to share his newly acquired knowledge with Taliban fighters to earn his living.

It should be said that such cases of defection are common among those fighters that were trained by American instructors to support Washington’s policies. The defectors are often taking the weapons provided by the US along with the knowledge they received to “the other side”. Subsequently, those well armed and trained fighters are being used against the US and its allies by various militant organizations.

One can recall a curious case that took place back in September 2015, when Syrian rebels trained by the United States handed over some of their equipment to the Al-Nusra Front, those that are closely linked with Al-Qaeda, in exchange for safe passage. Reuters would report that US Colonel Patrick Ryder stated that the Al-Nusra Front acquired six pick-up trucks and one-quarter of the ammunition issued to the rebels by the US to acquire safe passage. Back then, Washington had to recognize that this development was a serious blow to its efforts to provide assistance to “its partners in Syria” who were expected to fight against ISIS. Consequently the US had to admit that some of the so-called “Syrian rebels” had been collaborating with Al-Qaeda terrorists. This situation undermined Washington’s confidence in the possible success of its training programs.

Last August, the Pentagon’s representatives were once again forced into acknowledging that the program to train so-called “moderate opposition fighters” in Syria started as a miserable failure. CBS would report that half of all the fighters prepared by the US were immediately captured by Jabhat al-Nusra. Mind you that Pentagon had spent over 42 million dollars for just two months of training them. Those captured in a relatively short period of time agreed to defect to Al-Nusra to fight the US and its allies. Some experts believe that the capture of those “moderate opposition” fighters was a planned event, since those captured were able to pass their knowledge to the members of this terrorist organization at a time when Washington was unable to train them openly.

Throughout last year the Lebanese TV-channel Al Mayadeen was making interesting revelations about American officers training Turkmen fighters in the Syrian province of Latakia, noting that those training programs used to be run in Turkey but then were transferred to Syria. At the same time, Al Mayadeen ‘s sources in the Syrian military noted that the were no ISIS fighters in the province of Latakia, and instead stated that there were only Jabhat Al-Nusra forces waging war against the Syrian army.

The New York Times would go a bit further in admitting the truth, by noting:

Ten days of interviews and front-line visits across northern Syria with many of the forces in the alliance, called the Syrian Democratic Forces, made clear that so far it exists in name only, and that the political and logistical challenges it faces are daunting.

President Obama announced plans to deploy dozens of Special Operations troops to support the new alliance. And before that, American officials said 50 tons of ammunition had been airdropped for Arab fighters with the new group. But already, things have not always gone as planned. Since the ammunition airdrop, American officials have privately acknowledged that the Arab units it was intended for did not have the logistical capability to move it. So, again, the Kurds were called to help.

However, USA Today has also released inconvenient information noting that the Pentagon spent 384 million dollars (or the better part of the budget allocated for the training program) on the preparation of 180 fighters, instead of the almost 3,000 militants it originally planned to train. At that point, US officials declared this program a bitter failure and shut  it down, without ever mentioning that the Pentagon spent 2 million dollars per fighter trained.

The conclusion is pretty simple: over recent years Washington has started a large number of training programs in Syria, Afghanistan and other hot spots. Pentagon and CIA operatives have spent considerable amounts of taxpayers’ money without ever achieving their stated objectives. Therefore, it won’t be an exaggeration to state that those programs have become a gold mine for certain corrupted officers of the US armed and intelligence forces. Should those facts be brought to the public’s attention, they would produce a considerably larger bang than the so-called Panama Papers. Numerous journalist investigations, including the ones that were carried out by The Guardian and Bloomberg  serve as a testimony to the fact that the United States has unfortunately become the most corrupt state in the world, where money is being stolen from taxpayers daily.

Under these circumstances an open public investigation of such operations of the Pentagon and the CIA could shed some light on the way US military officers are stealing money from their fellow citizens under the pretext of protecting the Land of the Free.

Martin Berger is a freelance journalist and geopolitical analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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