Monday, January 19, 2015

Who Owns These "Boots on the Ground"?
     Pentagon spokesperson Rear Admiral John Kirby announced last week that approximately 1,000 American service members would soon be deploying to Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar to train "moderate" Syrian rebels to fight against ISIS.  He said that the training will begin in the early spring and that if training goes well, trainees will return to fight in Syria by the end of the year.  He added that 15,000 trained Syrian rebels will be required to reclaim parts of eastern Syria now controlled by ISIS and that about 5,000 can be trained per year.
     He did not address three points that I believe are important.  First, who will pay these "moderate" rebels during their training and upon their return to the Syrian battlefield?  Second, does this cohort of fighters represent an extra-governmental militia or is this militia part of the US military: what is its status under international law and the Geneva Conventions?  Third, is this militia subject to the Geneva Convention and is the US responsible for the militia's actions under the Geneva Conventions?

1 comment:

  1. A few more questions we may wish to ask:
    (1) How did we arrive at the figure of 15,000 "trainees" and what may change in the three years that it takes to train them that will alter or abort this mission?
    (2) What is the TOTAL cost to the American taxpayer?
    (3) What screening methods do we employ to insure that these "trained fighters" don't some day turn on their Masters (the US)?
    (4) Lastly, how does this activity advance US interest and security in the region and at home?