Senator Rand Paul introduced Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard's bill, appropriately dubbed the "Stop Arming Terrorists Act," this week to forcefully stop the funding and arming of rebel forces in foreign nations. Doing so is illegal for American citizens, but the U.S. government has continuously provided support to known terrorist organizations for years.
As Hawaii Representative Gabbard said, "Under U.S. law it is illegal for any American to provide money or assistance to al-Qaeda, ISIS or other terrorist groups. If you or I gave money, weapons or support to al-Qaeda or ISIS, we would be thrown in jail. Yet the U.S. government has been violating this law for years, quietly supporting allies and partners of al-Qaeda, ISIL, Jabhat Fateh al Sham and other terrorist groups with money, weapons, and intelligence support, in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government."
The U.S. position on the Syrian Civil War has been a point of contention for years now, as overthrowing the corrupt government has been the focus, but it comes at the cost of arming terrorist groups whose efforts include spreading terror throughout the world. Many have pointed out that doing so would be choosing the greater evil, and that aiding the Syrian government, as corrupt as President Bashar al-Assad may be, could be the better option. The debate is multi-faceted, but people on both sides seem to agree on one thing: the U.S. government should cease federal funding of terrorist groups.