On September 16 Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) blasted President Obama’s request for $500 million to train 5,000 Syrian rebels, saying the breakdown on the money works out to “$100,000 per [rebel]” for one year.
He said that even after all that money is spent the U.S. has no guarantee that the rebels will not side with ISIS for religious reasons, and fight Bashar al-Assad instead of the ISIS insurgency.
According to The Hill, Manchin said: “I have a hard time understanding why all of a sudden we are going to convince these 5,000 [rebels] to turn and fight ISIS, who is fighting the same religious war they are fighting against the Assad regime.”
Manchin said spending more money in hopes that others will stop ISIS is simply not a good plan and Senators cannot “sell this stuff” to their constituents.
[Look] at what we’ve spent, almost $20 billion trying to build up a 280,000-person army in Iraq, and the first time they were tested, they turned tail and ran, turned over the arsenal that we equipped them with, and now it’s being used against us.
And…look at what we have already done in that part of the world…$1.6 trillion to date and growing; 4,400 lives lost in Iraq; 36,000 wounded; 2,200 lives in Afghanistan and 21,000 wounded.
Manchin said there is no reason to assume any other outcome if we continue down the same path of simply throwing money at the problem.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.