Robin Yassin-Kassab wants the US to fund “the moderate Islamists and secularists of the Syrian National Coalition, which will then feed the hungry and fund the fighters, empowering them to buy the weapons they need.” Marc Lynch agrees but adds that “there should be no illusions that this will lead to easy success”:
There are virtually no examples in modern history of the external arming of rebels succeeding – no, the support for the Afghan jihad most certainly doesn’t count given what followed – and many examples of such aid making conflicts bloodier, longer, and more intractable. But we are where we are.
And we should leave well alone. After all we are now finding out about the unintended consequences of the Libyan intervention – done by a president contemptuous of Congress’s sole constitutional right to declare war – we should start arming rebels in Syria whom we cannot truly know or understand? After Iraq? After Afghanistan? Unless any of these actors have the capability or intent of attacking the US, we should leave well alone. Sometimes, doing nothing is easily the best of all the bad options.