The Pentagon’s program to train moderate Syrians to combat ISIS cost millions per fighter, according to a new report.
USA Today, citing interviews and spending figures obtained by the paper, reports the Pentagon’s program to train Syrian rebels spent $2 million dollars per fighter trained. The training program was suspended last month, but not before the U.S. government spent roughly $384 million on the initiative. The U.S. had planned to spend $500 million on the program in 2015, which it said would graduate 3,000 trained forces this year and 5,000 every year following. 180 Syrians ultimately came out of the program, of which 145 remain, according to USA Today, and only 95 fighters are currently in Syria.
The Pentagon disputes the $2 million figure, saying each fighter only cost $30,000, and argues the majority of funds were used for equipment and arms, some of which is still in storage. “Our investment in the Syria train and equip program should not be viewed purely in fiscal terms,” a spokesperson told the paper.
Read more at USA Today.