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Mitt Romney wants to arm Syrian rebels: What are the risks?

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The group, the Nusra Front for the People of the Levant, gave enough details about the blasts to suggest it had indeed carried out the attacks and was not just claiming to have done so


No one considers the issue of arming Syria’s rebels a simple one. President Obama, who only last April declared the prevention of mass atrocities a US national security interest, has risked looking hypocritical by denying the rebels heavier arms even as Syria’s death toll has surpassed 20,000. Yet even as the administration has sent advisers into the conflict zone to work with the rebels and try to get a better understanding of the various factions, the problem of the extremist and Al Qaeda presence among Assad’s opponents continues to discourage any provision of heavy weaponry.

Even Romney in his speech was careful not to claim that the US under his presidency would do the arming, but that his administration would work with “partners” to see that others did.

“I will work with our partners to identify and organize those members of the opposition who share our values and ensure they obtain the arms they need to defeat Assad’s tanks, helicopters, and fighter jets,” he declared.

Some Republican critics of the Obama administration’s Syria policy have argued for arming the rebels, but others emphasize the problems posed by the presence of Islamist extremists in the conflict zone.

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