Obama to Arm Syrian Rebels Afterall?
by Abby Ohlheiser
On the same day that the Pentagon provided Congress with a list of military options concerning Syria, reports emerged that the White House is pretty much ready to move forward with covert CIA-run plan to arm the Syrian rebels.
Reuters, along with the New York Times, both cite Rep. Mike Rogers’s on-the-record indication that the Intelligence committee he chairs is ready to give a stamp of approval to the President’s plan, despite doubts about its probability for success. The committee meetings on the plan themselves are held in secret (as is the covert arms operation itself, which is going through the CIA), but according to Reuters there’s been a tentative agreement on the table since mid-July that opened the way for Obama’s plan for Syria to move forward:
The approval, as the Washington Post explains, will allow the CIA to shift some money already allotted to the agency into the covert arms program. And while no one’s saying specifically how much the covert program will cost, the Post says that officials believe it’s cheaper for the CIA to take it on than it would be for the military to carry out the same operation (it also, you know, allows the administration to side step international restrictions on overthrowing a government, and minimizes the congressional approval needed to move forward). There’s still no timeline for the start of delivery, however. Meanwhile, as the Times notes, the president has been emphasizing in recent weeks just how hard his plan will be to pull off, indicating that the administration believes that Obama’s successor will likely inherit their policy on Syria.
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