Trump reportedly decided to halt the training of Syrian rebels about a month ago after a meeting with CIA Director Mike Pompeo and national security adviser H.R. McMaster, media reported earlier in the week. The program originally ramped up in 2015 and was designed to produce a force of more than 5,000 troops to fight the Syrian government.
"As far as I am concerned, if true, it is long overdue," Spinney said. "Good news for Syrian President Bashar Assad and Russians, but in the long run, I think for the United States as well."
Spinney said he welcomed the announcement as a significant step towards reducing US involvement in the Syrian civil war.
Spinney also cautioned that President Trump should prepare to face renewed fierce attacks from his domestic political enemies.
Liberals and neoconservatives who already were trying to destroy Trump’s efforts to improve relations with Russia would attack him with renewed fury for scrapping the expensive and futile CIA training program in Syria, Spinney observed.
However, these intensified attacks on the president could backfire on their perpetrators, Spinney suggested.
The Washington Post reported in 2015 based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden that the CIA training project in Syria was one the agency’s largest covert operations, with a budget approaching $1 billion a year.