Defense Incompetence Just Keeps on Coming – U.S. “Freedom Fighters” Vanish in Syria

July 30, 2015 – San Francisco, CA – – It was an idiotic idea to start with, believing that this WH had the expertise to train “moderate” Muslims to fight for U.S. interests in Syria, whatever they may be.

Mr. Obama is a bit unclear as to purpose here.

Nonetheless, the audaciously moronic plan not only got two-thumbs-up from DoD Secty. Ashton B. Carter...John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and the RINO herd thought it such a sexy program that they allotted $500M to make it happen.

Fact: To date far less than 100 “rebels” have been trained, with the actual figure pegged at approximately 50, making the training cost of each man $10M.

“The first graduates of the course in Turkey, about 50 recruits, rolled into Syria two weeks ago in four wheel drive pickup trucks. But they haven’t been heard from since. The U.S. goal was to train at least 5,000 fighters against the Islamic State this year alone.” [source, Burhan Ozbilici, Turkey vows to strike anyone killing civilians in planned free zone , AP via McClatchyDC]

So not only was the expenditure profligate, it has apparently been entirely wasted given the mysterious disappearance of our supposed mercenaries, allegedly captured by al-Qaeda's Al-Nusra Front.

In DC world, half-a-billion is pocket change, but to most Americans it represents an almost unfathomable amount of money.

Equipment necessary to the defense of the U.S. is expensive, it has always been so. But let’s look at what economists call the “opportunity cost,” or what the half-a-billion might have bought:

DoD could have purchased another 75 main battle tanks, the M1 Abrams instead and gotten change!

Incredibly, that same $500M is enough to equip over 20,000 U.S. soldiers.

This is a sobering reality, especially an atmosphere where Congress has entirely abdicated its role in apportioning defense funding to the extent that it was recently announced that another 40,000 positions in the U.S. military will be eliminated because of the cowardly sequestration deal. [see for example, Leo Shane III, DoD's sequestration warnings fall flat in Congress ]

There are several lessons to be learned from this fiasco which might, in a sane environment, provide teachable moments:

1. Nothing in the Middle East is actually, in the Western sense, for sale….nothing. Short-term rental, no strings attached, no warranty expressed or implied? No problem, step right up.

2. Wars can’t be fought in a piecemeal manner, you are either all in from the beginning or you will have lost while still in the starting gate - the reason why America has lost every war in which it was involved since World War II.

3. Though incompetent beyond measure, Team O’s performance in the ME isn’t evidence thereof. The president simply isn’t at all serious about national security issues. Above all he is risk-adverse to a paranoid degree - a trait he shares with Bill Clinton in such matters.

As a result Team O runs a hand-puppet show. The administration simply throws some money around, makes a speech or two or three about it, stirs the pot a bit and serves up horse shit pie, a commodity for which the great unwashed apparently have an insatiable appetite.

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