The Corner

Dem. Rep: WH Plan to Arm Syrian Rebels ‘Lame’

Criticism of President Obama’s strategy in Iraq and Syria from his own party got a little middle-school-esque on Friday, with congresswoman Jackie Speier (D., Calif.) calling the White House plan to train and arm moderate Syrian rebels “lame.”

The lawmaker — who voted against providing material support and training to Syrian rebels – spoke Friday with MSNBC’s Jose Diaz-Balart about the plan, which passed the House on Wednesday and the Senate on Thursday with mostly Republican votes.

“It wasn’t a plan,” Speier said. “To actually train and arm three to five thousand Syrians in the Free Syrian Army is not a plan. There are many within the establishment, former generals, who said it was lame, actually. That if you were going to do it, you’d need to do at least 15,000.”

“ISIL is making about $3 million a day,” she said. “We need to disrupt their line of income. And that means blowing up oil wells and the roads that they use to get those oil tankers to shipment. So I actually think ISIL is something we have to address, I think it is dangerous. But if we’re going to address it, it’s not with three to five thousand trained [Syrian rebels].”

“I think we really moved too quickly, quite honestly,” Speier said, worrying that Free Syrian Army rebels supported by the U.S. may end up running from the Islamic State — or even joining them — once confronted by jihadists on the battlefield. 

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