The U.S. Wasted Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars Training Syrian Rebels

The Obama administration has reportedly decided to end its effort to arm and train people to battle ISIS in Syria, which had cost hundreds of millions and produced only a few fighters

Oct 09, 2015 at 9:09 AM ET

The Obama administration is scrapping its program to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels to battle Islamic State militants, the New York Times reported Friday, citing an unnamed senior Defense Department Official.

The program had drawn months of heated criticism following the revelation that, despite the fact that it has cost hundreds of millions of dollars so far, it has failed to train more than just a few fighters instead of the 5,400 that had been promised by the end of this year. It was dealt another blow after some of the U.S.-trained fighters were kidnapped by militants in Syria and had their weapons confiscated.

More U.S. Taxpayers Spent $851 A Minute Training 60 Syrian Rebels

The Defense official who spoke with the Times said the training was “to be suspended, with the option to restart if conditions dictate, opportunities arise.”

The end of the Syrian rebel program comes as the Obaman administration’s strategy to fund foreign fighters around the world faces tough questions. In an effort to combat Islamic militants the White House says threaten national interests, the U.S. has spent nearly $100 billion to arm and train foreign militaries across the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, an analysis by Vocativ shows. Most of those programs face severe setbacks. Others appear to be on the brink of unraveling entirely.