Sunday, February 10, 2013

"No plans to reconsider!"

"...U.S. officials said that the issue was shelved in October after an extended “red team” analysis by the CIA concluded that the limited-range weaponry the administration was comfortable providing would not have “tipped the scales” for the opposition.
Syrian opposition forces already had sufficient quantities of light weaponry from other outside sources and raids of government depots, the analysis determined. The question of providing shoulder-launched missiles to shoot down government aircraft, officials said, was never considered.
It remained unclear whether senior officials who backed the plan, first proposed during the summer by then-CIA director David H. Petraeus, were comfortable with President Obama’s decision not to move ahead with it. Some U.S. and outside experts have argued that the provision of weapons to selected rebel groups, even if they are superfluous, could help empower and build loyalty among pro-Western factions...
Officials from several allied governments, who spoke on the condition of anonymity about relations with Washington, said that they were convinced last summer that the administration was moving in a new direction, with the majority of top national security officials in favor of providing weapons. When a change in policy did not occur by September, many concluded that Obama wanted to wait until after he was re-elected.
U.S. officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity about internal administration deliberations, said the subject has not been revisited since the decision was made and that there were no plans to reconsider it.... The administration has tacitly approved arms shipments by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, while urging that the recipients be fully vetted....... U.S. allies and partners in Europe and the Middle East have been more willing to consider direct involvement in Syria but not without a sign from the United States that it is willing to put “skin in the game,” according to a senior Arab official.
“You have to be a full partner,” the official said. “If the United States begins to supply weapons, then everybody will line up behind them.” ..."

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