USA Today op-ed: The dangers of arming Syrian opposition
The Senate and House Intelligence committees’ about-face decision this week to arm the rebels in Syria is dangerous and disconcerting. The weapons will assuredly end up in the wrong hands and will only escalate the slaughter in Syria. Regardless of the vetting procedures in place, the sheer factionalized nature of the opposition guarantees that the arms will end up in some unsavory hands. The same militant fighters who have committed gross atrocities are among the best-positioned of the rebel groups to seize the weapons that the United States sends to Syria.
Congress can still join with the 70% of Americans who oppose arming Syria rebels and heed former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski’s caution against arming the rebels (he called the Obama Administration’s decision to do so “a mess in the making”). Let’s hope they do.
*Michael Shank is the director of foreign policy at the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Kate Gould is the legislative associate for Middle East policy at FCNL.