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The fall of Aleppo is a human catastrophe. It's also a demonstration of the perils of choosing the middle course in a military conflict. In the annals of covert warfare, the CIA's support for the Syrian opposition deserves a special, dark chapter. The effort began late – nearly two years into the war – after extremists had already begun to dominate the fight against President Bashar Assad. It was a hodgepodge of different regional states and their pet fighters – nominally coordinated from operations centers in Jordan and Turkey but in reality controlled by more than 80 local militias whose commanders were often corrupt and proto-jihadis themselves.Kerry was an early advocate of using military force against Assad.Kerry didn't want to abandon the "vetted" fighters altogether, and he argued for giving some groups more weapons.Kerry couldn't deliver on his promise to separate the "moderate" opposition from Nusra.The U.S. couldn't undo the anti-Assad alliance it had fostered.
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