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“We Spent $500 Million Training Syrian Rebels and Got Nothing”

Tuesday, November 1, 2016 19:26
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents. To:,, Date: 2015-11-19 12:04 Subject: Re: Remarks on ISIS

I’m glad you’re bumping that up a bit. You cover regional responsibility, but this is a big flash point for voters.

From: Jake Sullivan>
Date: Thursday, November 19, 2015 at 8:14 AM
To: Joel Benenson >, John Anzalone >
Cc: Dan Schwerin >, Speech Drafts >, Speech Book <>
Subject: RE: Remarks on ISIS
We can throw some more shade at the Arabs, though. Dan and I have an idea.
———- []
On Behalf Of Joel Benenson
Sent: Thursday, November 19, 2015 8:00 AM
To: John Anzalone >
Cc: Dan Schwerin >; Speech Drafts <>; Speech Book <>
Subject: Re: Remarks on ISIS

I thought there is a fair amount in the fist of her three action points focused on what other countries have to do. And there is a sound bite on it in that section as well

Sent from my iPhone On Nov 19, 2015, at 1:42 PM,
John Anzalone > wrote:

I am clearly not a ISIS policy guy so take my comments with a grain of salt but what I thought was missing from a layman’s perspective was a strong call for Middle Eastern countries to join the fight with an immediate commitment of money and ground troops (all I saw was Jordan mentioned). We have “work with our Arab partners” but I think this speech should lay out a list of countries that should be supplying troops, planes, equipment, training, intelligence and money. Call them out and call them out big. That is where the American people are.

They are frustrated that this is a Middle Eastern problem being fought by America and Europe. We spent $500 million training Syrian rebels and got nothing and we defended Iraq for a decade and trained their army to see them all defect.

Re-asserting the need for just training and the Suni’s to rejoin the fight is not enough. She needs to outline exactly who in the Middle East should be on the battlefield with us. That is missing. She needs to call them out.

The speech mentions new “no fly zones” in Syria. How does that square with Russia’s current bombing campaign? Shouldn’t she call out the Russians for making the situation worse? They would make her appear strong. Take on Putin here. There is language about “ending Assad’s rule” which seems to defy political reality. Why go there? It is not going to happen in the algebra of defeating ISIS so why don’t we stick to the task at hand.

On Syrian refugees, is it enough to call just for vigilant screening? Shouldn’t we call for a thorough review of how we screen to make sure the procedures are actually up to snuff? I think both the CIA/FBI heads have testified and acknowledged that our screening may not deter terrorists. And I don’t think the american people feel like the screening process is adequate.

All in all I worry that if we don’t really call out specifically by name the Middle Eastern countries that need to join the fight in a significant way that there will not seem like much new here. This seems ore like a review of the diagnosis, a stroll down memory lane and a call for more bombing and intelligence gathering.

John Anzalone
Partner Anzalone Liszt Grove Research
(o) 334.387.3121
Website| Twitter|
From: > on behalf of Dan Schwerin >
Date: Thursday, November 19, 2015 at 2:53 AM To: Speech Drafts >, Speech Book >
Subject: Remarks on ISIS
I wanted to be sure everyone got this latest draft of our ISIS speech. I think HRC will make edits in the morning, but this is where we stand now. Please let me know by 9am if you have any major concerns.
Thanks Dan


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