Once again the federal government wants to give aid to those that have aligned themselves with the United States out of necessity instead of loyalty or common ideology.
Last week, the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) passed its annual authorization bill for the Department of Defense, which included a provision that would authorize the Secretary of Defense to provide a broad range of assistance, including lethal aid, to opposition forces in Syria. Senator Lee Press Release
The New York Times International explains what the Syrian opposition looks like. The video shows who the Senate Armed Services Committee voted to authorize the Department of Defense to provide federal aid and other services to.
Does this look like something the United States Government should jump into by providing aid and arms to the rebels ? We have seen our government do this time and time again only to have it back fire and cost the lives of thousands. Remember the Iraq and Iran War (1980 to 1988) in which the United States provided aid, training, and arms to Iraq. Then in 1990 the United States along with its Allies had to force Iraq out of Kuwait in Operation Desert Storm.
Desert Storm appears to have been just the first step that would eventually led to the invasion of Iraq and the capture and execution of Saddam Hussein years later. The United States also invaded Afghanistan to crush the Taliban and Al-Qaeda and hunt down Osama bin Laden for the 911 terrorist attacks.
The United States government had been in Afghanistan throughout the Russian and Afghanistan War giving aid and supporting those Afghanistan fighters who fought against Russia.
The administration also enacted economic sanctions and trade embargoes against the Soviet Union, called for a boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics, and stepped up its aid to the Afghan insurgents. In sum, these actions were Washington’s collective attempt to make the Soviets’ “adventure” in Afghanistan as painful and brief as possible. Instead, it took ten years of grinding insurgency before Moscow finally withdrew, at the cost of millions of lives and billions of dollars. In their wake, the Soviets left a shattered country in which the Taliban, an Islamic fundamentalist group, seized control, later providing Osama bin Laden with a training base from which to launch terrorist operations worldwide. By US Department of State, Office of the Historian
Not only the US Government helped, but China helped to provide aid going through Pakistan into Afghanistan to support those fighting the soviets. This uncommon alliance led to a relationship between the Taliban, Pakistan, and china. This would come back to haunt the US Government during “Operation Enduring Freedom” and the years of war that have continued according to “Dragon Days” Time for “Unconventional” Tactics By H. John Poole Foreword by Maj Gen Ray L Smith USMC (Ret.).
These are just a couple of examples that only begin to scrape the surface of the effects of providing aid to friends of political convenience. This type of aid will more than likely cause the United States problems in the future.
Unfortunately it appears that everyone on the Senate Armed Services Committee has failed to learn this lesson except Senator Mike Lee.
The bill, the National Defense Authorization Act, was reported out of committee by a vote of 25-1, with Senator Lee as the only “NO” vote due to the Syrian provision, as well as other concerns.
Thank you Senator Lee! This country does not need to help arm more potential enemies in the Middle east leading to more lost lives.
- Lee: President’s Syria Proposal Raises Security Questions (lee.senate.gov)
- Obama at West Point: Speech in full (bbc.co.uk)
- Where Does the Syrian Civil War Stand Today? (matthewaid.com)
- INSIGHT-Syrian al Qaeda reach foothills of Israeli-held Golan (trust.org)