Obama seeks $500m to train 'moderate' Syrian opposition

President Barack Obama

White House searches for effective alternatives to jihadist army active in Syria and Iraq

LAST UPDATED AT 09:21 ON Fri 27 Jun 2014

President Obama has proposed to increase American involvement in Syria's civil war, asking Congress to approve the release of $500m to support and train what he described as "moderate" Syrian opposition forces.

The National Security Council said that money requested by the government would "help defend the Syrian people, stabilise areas under opposition control, facilitate the provision of essential services, counter terrorist threats, and promote conditions for a negotiated settlement".

At a speech at the West Point military academy last month, Obama pledged to step up support for opposition forces in Syria. The administration is anxious to find effective alternatives to "the jihadist army that has taken over vast swaths of Syria and Iraq for an Islamic state", The Guardian reports.

The advance of Isis into neighbouring Iraq prompted Obama to take action, the BBC says.

Since the Syrian civil war began, an estimated 150,000 people have been killed and a million more displaced by fighting between rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

"This funding request would build on the administration's longstanding efforts to empower the moderate Syrian opposition, both civilian and armed," the White House said.

The money will also "enable the Department of Defense to increase our support to vetted elements of the armed opposition". It may fund US military training for the Syrians in Jordan, where the US military already trains its Iraqi counterparts, the Guardian says.

Neither the Pentagon nor the State Department have released plans for how the money would be spent, the New York Times reports, and it is still unclear whether and when Congress will approve the request.

"There's not a lot of detail here," said Gordon Adams, a professor of foreign policy at American University. Congressional lawmakers, he added, are "going to immediately say, 'what's it for?'". · 

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Far simpler, cheaper and vastly more effective would be to tell Qatar & Saudi to stop funding insurgents immediately. Or else.

This $500 million will be spent on they Syrian war, which the American people have made plain we do not support. The Syrian war has already cost 150,000 lives and tore the country apart. It was created by the CIA most likely, and we supported ISIS in Syria.
Any of this money which will be used in Iraq will be used to fight the government we installed there, and to repurchase some support in the Sunni Community in Iraq. The time for that was between 2003 and 2007, but instead of empowering the Sunnis, the US Government under the Bushes stood by while the Shia ran the Sunni majority out of Baghdad, fired them from government, prevented them from voting, arrested tens of thousands of them, and actually made war on them for four years. Bush 2's Czar of Iraq--Bremer--dismissed it as "payback". Now you see the results of our absolutely inept "liberation" of the Iraqui people.
But this $500 million is mostly more money for the US created Syrian Rebels which our new Imperial President--Obama bought into. Stay out of Iraq, get out of Syria.

Some countries never learn,as ambitious say,sort out the Saudi money men who are bankrolling the terrorists and have been since way before 9/11

...Keep out!!!

Or else what? We'll destabilize the oil markets and send more money their way?

Freeze their assets & bank accounts in the West, suspend their credit card processing (as done to Wikileaks -illegally), stop selling them arms or spare parts, cancel the whoring & shopping visits, refuse medical care.
Little things like that.

They can turn the tap off the oil and hurt the west much quicker and deeper than the slow grind measures you recommend. The Chinese and Russians will very happily and easily fill in the arms sales void. As for the whores, there are plenty the world over.

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