The Los Angeles Times quotes Rafik Hariri Center Resident Senior Fellow Frederic C. Hof on US difficulties in creating an effective Syrian fighting force to counter ISIS:
“The vetting has been truly glacial,” said Fred Hof of the Atlantic Council, a former Obama administration diplomat. “The biggest fear is that one of these guys will show up in a picture with a three-foot beard, holding a US antitank weapon and shouting ‘Allahu akbar.’ That’s understandable, but it makes it almost impossible to get from here to there.”
Is there an alternative? Hof and others have proposed one: A much larger training effort, with less draconian restrictions. In Hof’s view, the administration should be aiming at a force of 50,000, not 15,000 — and it should declare that the new force would be free to fight the Assad regime as well as ISIS.