Our 'smart' foreign policy at work

I am so glad we have such brilliant people running our foreign policy, aren't you?

The Obama administration secretly gave its blessing to arms shipments to Libyan rebels from Qatar last year, but American officials later grew alarmed as evidence grew that Qatar was turning some of the weapons over to Islamic militants, according to United States officials and foreign diplomats.

No evidence has emerged linking the weapons provided by the Qataris during the uprising against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi to the attack that killed four Americans at the United States diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, in September.

But in the months before, the Obama administration clearly was worried about the consequences of its hidden hand in helping arm Libyan militants, concerns that have not previously been reported. The weapons and money from Qatar strengthened militant groups in Libya, allowing them to become a destabilizing force since the fall of the Qaddafi government.

The experience in Libya has taken on new urgency as the administration considers whether to play a direct role in arming rebels in Syria, where weapons are flowing in from Qatar and other countries.

Nations like Qatar and Saudi Arabia wish to shape the post-war environment in both Libya and now Syria. To that end, they send arms not only to those who can most effectively fight the government, but also those groups with which they are allied religiously or philosophically. In this way, they have influence over who comes to power - and who doesn't - when the war is over.

'Tis a pity that our genius foreign policy bureaucrats missed that one.

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