Congressman Rick Nolan

Representing the 8th District of Minnesota
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Nolan Amendment to Hold Failed ‘Syria Train & Equip’ Program Accountable Passes House

May 18, 2016
Press Release

[WASHINGTON D.C.] U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan today introduced and passed by voice vote an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to provide accountability for the failed Syria Train & Equip program. With his amendment, any group that the Secretary of Defense has reported to have misused training or equipment would be ineligible to receive more funding.

In October 2015, the Pentagon stopped the training portion of the program and are now solely giving arms to groups inside Syria after an investigation revealed that only a handful of rebels were actually trained. One group of fighters immediately handed over the weapons and equipment directly to an Al-Qaeda affiliate (Al-Nusra) upon entering into Syria in exchange for free passage. The Secretary of Defense is required by the original authorization for the program to report on the misuse of training and equipment.

“The need for accountability in this program could not be more clear, and that is exactly what my amendment provides,” Nolan said. “We are spending millions of dollars bombing our own military equipment, which is also being used against our own troops and our allies on the front lines. We should not make it even more dangerous for our brave men and women in the armed forces by providing more equipment to folks who have clearly shown they cannot be trusted with it.”

Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Mac Thornberry praised Nolan’s amendment as a good, bipartisan solution. Click here to watch the Chairman advocate for Nolan’s amendment on the House floor.