- NYC’s de Blasio seeks to ban wood-burning fireplaces
- Residents angry Obama mispronounced town’s name during mudslide visit
- Israel halts peace talks with Palestinians
- Netanyahu’s driver accused of raping girls under age 12
- Putin calls Internet ‘CIA project’ that must be controlled
- Muslims offended that 9/11 museum movie speaks of jihad
- Obama marks Armenian massacre, avoids using the word ‘genocide’
- Gov. Rick Perry: ‘It’s not a dare, it’s a promise’; Texas will fight BLM
- Howard Dean cheers Obama’s approach to Russian aggression
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s childhood nickname? ‘The Surprise’
Congress split on push to arm rebels in Syria
Panel OKs CIA plans
House debate on the fiscal 2014 defense spending bill Tuesday exposed lawmakers’ unease over arming Syrian rebels, even as congressional intelligence committees approved CIA plans to supply weapons to opposition forces.
Democrats and Republicans tried to put forward several amendments to limit the Obama administration’s actions on Syria, but House leaders managed to keep the number of considered amendments to about 100.
“The last thing I want to do is arm rebels,” said Rep. Richard B. Nugent, Florida Republican and a father of three sons serving in the military. “I want to make sure our sons and daughters are not in harm’s way.”
“This rule denies any real substantive debate,” Mr. McGovern said. “I hope a few years down the road we don’t look back [at how we got] sucked into this war without real debate.”
Members of Congress have long expressed concerns about the U.S. becoming involved in Syria’s 2-year-old civil war. Some have voiced reservations about arming the rebels, who include jihadists and militants among their numbers, and fears about U.S. weapons falling into the wrong hands.
Other lawmakers have argued that arming the rebels would not be enough to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad, noting Iran’s and Hezbollah’s support for his regime, and have called for direct U.S. military intervention such as establishing no-fly zones and deploying U.S. troops.
President Obama last month authorized arming the rebels after concluding that Syria’s government had used chemical weapons against the opposition.
“The House intelligence committee has very strong concerns about the strength of the administration’s plans in Syria and its chances for success,” said Rep. Mike Rogers, Michigan Republican and chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. “After much discussion and review, we got a consensus that we could move forward with what the administration’s plans.”
According to congressional officials, the deal with the oversight committees allows the CIA to use previously appropriated funds to pay for the weapons supplies. Shipments should begin within weeks.
Media reports have revealed the existence of a CIA operation in Jordan that has been providing training and nonlethal aid to rebel brigades identified by U.S. intelligence as “moderates.”
However, U.S. military intervention in Syria likely would cost billions of dollars and carry several risks for the forces involved, Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in letter that was released Monday.
Meanwhile, the Syrian opposition said Tuesday that Lebanese Hezbollah leaders should be put on trial for fighting on the side of the Assad regime.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Shaun Waterman is an award-winning reporter for The Washington Times, covering foreign affairs, defense and cybersecurity. He was a senior editor and correspondent for United Press International for nearly a decade, and has covered the Department of Homeland Security since 2003. His reporting on the Sept. 11 Commission and the tortuous process by which some of its recommendations finally became ...
- Senator's memo shows Iran links in Homeland Security's troubled immigration program
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- Dems back bill to fix problems in investor visa program
- Democrats proceed with Mayorkas vote despite pending investigation
- Game players don't think peace has a chance in Syria
Latest Blog Entries
Kristina Wong is a national security reporter for The Washington Times, covering defense, foreign policy and intelligence affairs. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Despite Pentagon cuts and eye on Pacific, Air Force implored to save the 'Warthog'
- Pentagon welcomes budget deal but says more defense spending needed
- Rep. Hunter to Pentagon: Don't lower combat standards for women
- Scientists raise alarm over plan to destroy Syria's chemical weapons at sea
- Hagel renews Qatar defense pact despite differences over Iran, Syria
TWT Video Picks
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
- In its hunt for Senate, Republican candidates campaign against Harry Reid
- Obamacare class-action suit opens a new legal front
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- Obama avoids 'red line' for China, prepared to impose tougher sanctions on Russia
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- 'Conservatives' should feel exposed by Bundy's racist comments: Scarborough
- Sold out: Ukraine's leadership swapped best military weapons for cash
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Rand Paul: Bundy's racist remarks are 'offensive'
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014