Reuters reports: The United States said on Tuesday it was falling far behind plans to build a Syrian opposition force to battle Islamic State, disclosing that just 60 fighters were in training after U.S. vetting thinned the number of recruits.
The U.S. military launched its program in May to train up to 5,400 fighters a year in what was seen as a test of President Barack Obama’s strategy of getting local partners to combat extremists and keep U.S. troops off the front lines.
The training program has been challenged from the start, with many candidates being declared ineligible and some even dropping out. Obama’s requirement that they target militants from Islamic State has sidelined huge segments of the Syrian opposition focused instead on battling Syrian government forces. [Continue reading…]