It’s recently been announced that the sitting US President Donald Trump has decided to put an end end CIA’s covert programs of arming and training members of the so-called moderate Syrian opposition that is battling the government of Bashar al-Assad.
The Washington Post would state that an unnamed US official confined to them that:
The phasing out of the secret program reflects Trump’s interest in finding ways to work with Russia. The shuttering of the program is also an acknowledgment of Washington’s limited leverage and desire to remove Assad from power.
It was initially expected that the covert program would be phased out over a period of months. However a lot of those forces that used to support this program would try to present this move by labeling it a major concession that Washington is going to make, thus allegedly losing ground to its potential rivals. Predictably, the National Security Council and the CIA spokespeople refused to comment this development for the Washington Post in any way.
The program in question was at center of the strategy adopted by the Obama administration in 2013 that was aimed at ousting the legitimate President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad. When initial local cases of civil disobedience transformed into clashes, Washington kicked into high gear in a bid to transform this local unrest into a full-fledged revolution. That’s when the CIA was taken aboard, tasked with establishing closer ties with the intelligence agencies of Syria’s immediate neighbors. That’s when the money came flowing in, transforming what used to be a regular protest movement into an Islamist invasion.
In the opening stages of the conflict, Washington, that was discarding any reports about its actions in Syria as mere allegations, was busy at work ensuring that there’s enough forces, money and logistical support for the so-called opposition forces to maintain constant pressure on the Syrian army troops. The amount of resources that was poured into this war is truly mind boggling, with instructors coming from all across the Western world to verse to be Islamists in the art of killing.
However, as the war was dragged on an ever increasing number of foreign players got involved in the conflict, changing the situation on the ground big time. A couple of years in the so-called civil war it became apparent to pretty much everyone that no matter how much money Washington is going to spend on the so-called Free Syrian Army, it wouldn’t prevail.
That’s when ISIS came into the picture, with its unparalleled brutality and fanatical believes. Essentially, the only reason ISIS exists is that the CIA decided to use one of the dirty tricks from its play book, that was introduced back in 1980s by Ronald Reagan that would pursue radicalization of Afghan tribes in a bid to push the USSR out from Afghanistan. The so-called Mujahideen movement that Washington would sponsor and provide with all sorts of advanced weapons systems, over the years, transformed into such groups as Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
However, the so-called strategists in Washington have once again ignored the lessons of history, with Langley realizing that it have lost a grip over ISIS and its operations both in Iraq and Syria. Thus the problem went far beyond the competence of any intelligence organization, and since ISIS eventually became a geopolitical risk for a number of states, taking the spotlight of regional affairs, there was no secret to be kept by CIA operatives anymore. All those factors led to US military getting heavily engaged in Syria and Iraq to address the problem US intelligence agencies created.
Today the Syrian and Iraqi dossier is being supervised by the Pentagon, as a result of which this dossier went beyond the competence of the people that are engaged in “covert operation”. Of course, this does not mean that the CIA will stop its activities. But now the US intervening in Syria in a different form and military generals are more that confident in their capacity to “handle the situation” on their own.
That is why reports about President Trump deciding to end the CIA’s covert program to arm and train the so-called Syrian rebels, like the statements about Washington “falling into a Russian trap” or “ damaging the credibility of the United States” is nothing but a form of deception. The US will keep supporting all sorts of radical groups on the ground, but this time around this support will be coming directly from the Pentagon.
Martin Berger is a freelance journalist and geopolitical analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”