Over the last year the U.S. bombed Jabhat al-Nusra personal and facilities in Syria some five or six times. The al-Qaeda subgroup also has a history of attacking U.S. paid “relative moderate” proxy forces in Syria.
The Pentagon recently inserted another U.S. mercenary group into north Syria. This was accompanied by a media campaign in which the administration lauded itself for the operation. The newly inserted group is especially trained and equipped to direct U.S. air attacks like those that earlier hit al-Nusra fighters.
Now that freshly inserted group was attacked by Jabhat al-Nusra. Some of its members were killed and others were abducted.
The Obama administration is shocked, SHOCKED, ABSOLUTELY SHOCKED that Jabhat al-Nusra would do such a ghastly deed. “Why would they do that?” “Who could have known that they would attack U.S. proxy forces???”
The attack on Friday was mounted by the Nusra Front, which is affiliated with Al Qaeda. It came a day after the Nusra Front captured two leaders and at least six fighters of Division 30, which supplied the first trainees to graduate from the Pentagon’s anti-Islamic State training program.In Washington, several current and former senior administration officials acknowledged that the attack and the abductions by the Nusra Front took American officials by surprise and amounted to a significant intelligence failure.
While American military trainers had gone to great lengths to protect the initial group of trainees from attacks by Islamic State or Syrian Army forces, they did not anticipate an assault from the Nusra Front. In fact, officials said on Friday, they expected the Nusra Front to welcome Division 30 as an ally in its fight against the Islamic State.
A senior Defense Department official acknowledged that the threat to the trainees and their Syrian recruiters had been misjudged, and said that officials were trying to understand why the Nusra Front had turned on the trainees.
Like other Obama administration operations this one did not fail because of “intelligence failure” but because an utter lack of common sense.
Could someone explain to the fucking dimwits in the Pentagon and the Obama administrations that people everywhere, and especially terrorists group, hate it when you bomb them and kill their leaders? That those people you bomb might want to take revenge against you and your proxies? That people you bombed will not like your targeting team moving in next door to them? That alQaeda is not an “ally”?
These people are too pathetically clueless to even be embarrassed about it.
The accumulated intelligence quotient of the administration and Pentagon officials running the anti-Syria operation must be below three digits. But aside from their lack of basic intelligence the utter lack of simple “street smarts” is the real problem here. These people have no idea how life works outside of their beltway cages.
UPDATE: The one sane guy at the Council of Foreign relations, Micah Zenko, foresaw this debacle and wrote on March 2:
[The U.S. trained mercenaries] will immediately be an attractive target for attacks by the Islamic State, Assad’s ground and air forces, and perhaps Nusra and other forces. Killing or taking prisoner fighters (or the families of those fighters) who were trained by the U.S. military will offer propaganda value, as well as leverage, to bargain for those prisoners’ release.
He compared the whole operation to the 1961 CIA invasion of Cuba:
Last September, the White House and Congress agreed to authorize and fund a train-and-equip project similar to the Bay of Pigs, but this time in the Middle East, without any discussion about phase two. The Syrian project resembles 1961 in two ways: What happens when the fighting starts is undecided, and the intended strategic objective is wholly implausible.
On more thought from me on why the dimwits did not foresee that Nusra would attack. The White House insisted on calling a part of Nusra the “Khorasan group” and explained that it was only bombing this groups of alQaeda veterans now part of Nusra because the “Khorasan group” planning to hit in “western” countries. No expert nor anyone on the ground in Syria thought that this differentiation was meaningful. Nusra is alQaeda and so are all of its members.
But the White House and Pentagon probably thought that Nusra would accept the artificial separation they themselves had made up. That Nusra would understand that it is seen as an “ally” and only the “Khorasan group” is seen as an enemy.
If that was the line of thinking, and the situation seems to point to that, then these people have fallen for their own propaganda stunt. They probably believed that the “Khorasan group” was an accepted narrative because they were telling that tale to themselves.