|After 1 year of US air strikes, ISIL's map did not change|
In a letter to the State Department, Pentagon and C.I.A. last week, four senators — three Democrats and a Republican — criticized the program. “The Syria Train and Equip Program goes beyond simply being an inefficient use of taxpayer dollars,” the senators wrote. “As many of us initially warned, it is now aiding the very forces we aim to defeat.”
The senators — Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut; Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia; Tom Udall, Democrat of New Mexico; and Mike Lee, Republican of Utah — were referring to the latest debacle to plague the program.
Some of the American-trained Syrian fighters gave at least a quarter of their United States-provided equipment to the Qaeda affiliate in Syria, the Nusra Front, the United States Central Command acknowledged in late September.
In a statement correcting earlier assertions that reports of the turnover were a “lie” and a militant propaganda ploy, the Central Command said it had subsequently been notified that the Syrian rebels had “surrendered” some of its equipment — including six pickup trucks and a portion of its ammunition — to the Nusra Front.
More broadly, the program has suffered from a shortage of recruits willing to fight the Islamic State instead of the army of President Bashar al-Assad, a problem Mr. Obama noted at a news conference last Friday.