Hillary Clinton blamed the Obama administration Monday for a failed effort to train a rebel force in Syria that could take on the Islamic State and the Assad regime.
“This is a failure in policy, isn’t it?” MSNBC’s Chuck Todd asked Clinton in an interview that aired Monday, referring to a recent report that only a handful of the U.S. trained Syrian rebels are actually fighting in the war.
“Well, it is,” Clinton replied.
The goal of the program was to arm and train Syrian rebels that would then help U.S. interests by combating Assad and the Islamic State. Obama initially rejected the idea, over Clinton’s objections while Secretary of State, but later embraced the training program.
Asked whether it would have made a difference if Obama had listened to her, Clinton said she can’t say for sure but “obviously thought so at the time … ”
“If we had been able to move in, to help organize and support those people on the ground, maybe we could’ve made a difference,” she added.
The program has been a spectacular failure.
Just days after Army Gen. Lloyd Austin admitted that only “four or five’ U.S.-trained rebels are actively fighting against ISIS in Syria, Central Command reported an entire division of about 70 U.S.-trained rebels had turned over their arms to an al-Qaida affiliate operating in Syria.