ISIS, or ISIL, or Islamic State, has been almost completely defeated in Syria, but the U.S. Department of Defense is requesting an increase instead of a decrease in funding to support “Vetted Syrian Opposition,” or fighters in Syria against Syria’s Government, and it refers to these fighters as being part of America’s “strategy to defeat ISIS,” instead of as being what they now obviously are: fighters for regime-change, or to overthrow Syria’s Government (which is headed by its President Bashar al-Assad, who received 89% of the votes cast throughout Syria in the internationally monitored 2014 Presidential election).
The Trump Administration’s “Department of Defense Budget Fiscal Year (FY) 2019” funding-request to Congress calls for “III. Requirements in Syria” of:
a Coalition campaign to degrade, dismantle, and ultimately defeat ISIS in Syria. One key element of DoD’s strategy to defeat ISIS is to train, equip, sustain, and enable elements of the Vetted Syrian Opposition (VSO) eligible for support under current law. By the end of FY 2018, these forces are projected to total approximately 60,000 to 65,000; 30,000 to conduct ongoing combat missions against ISIS in the MERV, and 35,000 Internal Security Forces in liberated areas (to provide approximately 20 police/security forces for every 1,000 civilians).
Here is the:
The FY 2019 request fully funds the Syria T[rain]&E[quip/arm] program based on requirements to sustain a 35,000 Internal Security Force together with a 30,000 combat personnel partner forces (as required) to liberate, secure, and defend territory previously controlled by ISIS [but now no longer ISIS-controlled]. The following is a summary of the requirements in Syria by category:
Category FY 2018 Request FY 2019 Request ($ in Millions) [FY2018, then FY2019]
Weapons, Ammunition, Vehicles and Other Equipment $393.3 $162.5
Basic Life Support $6.1 $8.0
Transportation and Staging $40.0 $28.0
Operational Sustainment $60.6 $101.5
TOTAL $500.0 $300.0
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