July 12, 2014
Hof on Syrian Opposition Training in Jordan
U.S. law requires the State Department to screen foreign military members and units being trained with U.S. funds. Assistance is barred when credible evidence of human rights abuses turns up. But it is unclear how the law applies to a proxy force like the Syrian rebels.
"I'm not seeing any evidence, as of yet, that there's any sense of operational urgency here," said Fred Hof, a former State Department official involved in formulating Syria policy before he joined the Atlantic Council think tank in 2012.
Rather than asking Congress for new funds for the fiscal year from Oct. 1, Obama could have requested urgent money from the Pentagon to get the effort started quickly, Hof said.