Press Release: Senator Lee Responds to Suspension of Syrian Rebels Training Program

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) issued the following statement concerning the Pentagon's decision to end its Syrian rebel-training program:

“Many of my colleagues and I warned at the time of this program’s inception that implementation would be very risky and the goals were impractical given the fluid nature of the Syrian conflict.  Unfortunately, Senate leaders shoved authorization of this program into a must-pass continuing resolution last year instead of allowing it to be fully debated.  Now we are seeing the consequences of such rash actions. This program should be ended entirely, and the president must work with Congress in a transparent fashion to refocus our efforts on the issues that really matter to our national security.” 
Last week, Senators Lee, Manchin (D-WV), Murphy (D-CT), and Udall (D-NM) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Defense Secretary Ash Carter, U.S. Department of State Secretary John Kerry, and Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan urging them to end the unsuccessful and dangerous program. Full text of the letter is available here.
Lee, a member of the Senate Armed Serviced Committee (SASC), has been critical of this program since its inception and has closely monitored its implementation and results over the past year. He spoke out on the Senate floor in 2014 against then-Majority Leader Harry Reid’s inclusion of the program’s funding in a must-pass Continuing Resolution, calling the Senate’s failure to fully and openly debate this measure "a gross dereliction of duty."