In what is the foreign policy Too Little Too Late award of the last 10 years considering the 200,000 civilians already killed in Syria and the millions of refugees created by both Isis and Assad, (George W. Bush will always be the all time leader for his ignoring the actionable intelligence that would have stopped the 911 attacks) Obama has now agreed to do what he rejected three years ago when it would have done the most good -- arm moderate Syrian rebel forces already fighting in Syria.
Ashton Carter in a press conference admitted that the Obama policy of trying to train new rebels as long as they agreed not to fight against Assad was a failure. That was taking political correctness to new lows since it was not just a failure but a joke. And stupid.
The Obama administration allocated $500,000,000 to vette, train and arm new Syrian rebels but only if they were willing to fight against Isis alone and not Assad, a condition so absurd and a policy so inept it's hard to imagine anyone actually thinking that was a good idea.
Since most Syrian fighters want to fight against Assad and to overthrow his dictatorial regime as well as Isis, that policy resulted in hardly anybody showing up for work which in turn, out of a hoped for number of 5400 fighters produced a grand total of 5, yes five, rebels trained and ready to fight Isis. Which would be a premise for a pretty funny movie if it wasn't such a horror show as real White House policy.
Having no choice now but to admit a complete policy failure, with even Democrats calling it a joke and with Putin launching the kind of missile strikes against the rebels that Obama promised against Assad if he used chemical weapons before eventually backing down, Obama has now finally agreed to arm moderate Syrian rebels including the Kurds and other groups already fighting in Syria, something Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, three Secretaries of Defense (Gates, Panetta and Hagel) and a CIA Director all advised Obama to do three years ago to fight against both Assad and the rise of Isis. Recommendations Obama rejected at the time with his now famous line about Isis being the "junior varsity" dismissing them as a threat worth his attention. This,lest anyone forget, from the president Nancy Pelosi said was ready to be president from day one.
The AP reported that " The U.S. is abandoning its goal of training a new force and will focus on equipping, arming and supporting established rebel groups already fighting inside Syria."
Carter referred to it as "a more strategic approach" and in a perhaps unintended but honest slap at Obama's original policy said, " I wasn't satisfied with the early efforts in that regard". Welcome to the club.