BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:30 P.M.) – The U.S. military’s 2020 budget will see over $550 million allocated to training and developing forces inside Syria, a new report from the Department of Defense read this week.

During a presentation by the Department of Defense, a reporter asked about the inaudible money that is going to be used to train a border security force inside Syria, despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw most of the American forces from the country.

“So as we know, this year the fight against ISIS in Syria is rolling out, and that the U.S. forces are pulling out of Syria, but we see that still the budget allocates $300 million for Syrian training (inaudible) program and then $250 million for the border security of that — in that country.

Can you explain how this (inaudible) money will be used and who the U.S. is going to train, as the U.S. is already pulling out and the fight against ISIS is coming to be over?”

In response to the question, two officials gave their take on the funding:

DEPUTY COMPTROLLER MCCUSKER:  I’ll start and then let General Ierardi comment.  I think what you’re seeing in our budget is a reflection as, you know, an updated part of the strategy on sort of where we stand in defeating ISIS, but also continued emphasis on our second line of effort, which is our — our partnerships and our allies and their critical role in, you know, maintaining the — the gains that we’ve achieved in that area.

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LT. GEN. IERARDI:  I think we’ll adjust as appropriate as we move forward.  As we built this — this budget, it was based on the information at the time, still is an important part of the overall request and we’ll — we’ll adjust as — as necessary.

The U.S. is planning to build a new security force in northern Syria, which will ultimately be tasked with protecting the area along the Turkish border.

 

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