The end of Western support for Syria’s militant opposition has been clear since radicals began setting off bombs in European capitals.
Trump’s decision to stop support for Syrian rebels will be the final nail in the coffin of those factions which draw salaries from the CIA. They will be forced to pursue other careers.
More radical groups, such as those historically connected to al-Qaida and Ahrar al-Sham will also suffer from this decision. The radical militias prey on the weaker ones. They extort arms and money from the CIA-supported factions. The porous Syrian border with Turkey can now also be shut more tightly. The need to push resources to the CIA-vetted militias, kept border crossings open to all rebels, including al-Qaida. Factions merge and regroup with such regularity, that border guards could not know who was fighting for what end.
This is the last gasp for America’s policy of regime-change which has so compromised its efforts to promote democracy and human rights in a part of the world that needs both.Landis, in language that portrays the CIA as a victim rather than as a perpetrator, acknowledges what could never be acknowledged in the mainstream media -- that the two principal Salafist, non-ISIS combatants were funded and armed by the U.S. government. As mea culpas go I guess it's better than nothing.
In the meantime, Trump shouldn't be lauded as a peace champion yet. The Pentagon is claiming territory in Syria's northeast in support of the Kurds. In the near term this is going to be more of a problem for Turkey than it is for Syria. Kurdish sovereignty is where the bouncing ball will fall next.
When I read the news yesterday I wondered "Whither Anne Barnard?" The New York Times Beirut bureau chief was such a stalwart advocate for the CIA Salafis, Skyping, texting, telephoning every heartbreaking jihadi thought and heroic deed, yet she hasn't been heard from in over a month, about the same time Trump's rollback of the CIA's covert war went into effect.