U.S. Government Seeks NGO Help for Removing Iran from Syria

ANGLO AMERICA, MIDDLE EAST & NORTH AFRICA, SYRIA IN CONTEXT, MILITARISM, 3 Jun 2019

Michael Brenner – TRANSCEND Media Service

Americans have intoxicated themselves for two and a half years on the vapors emanating from the alleged Russian ‘interference’ in the 2016 election affair–never proven. The strongest odor, if one bothers to inhale, is from the stench of hypocrisy.

29 May 2019 – The U.S. Department of State is offering a grant of $75,000,000 to non-government-organizations to help it to further meddle in Syria.

The grant SFOP0005916 – Supporting Local Governance and Civil Society in Syria will go to “Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education”.

The task description is quite interesting as the NGOs which will eventually get the grant will have to commit to counter one of Syria’s military allies:

The purpose of this notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) is to advance the following U.S. Government policy objectives in Syria:

    • Ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS and counter violent extremism, including other extremist groups in Syria;
    • Achieve a political solution to the Syrian conflict under the auspices of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2254; and,
    • End the presence of Iranian forces and proxies in Syria.

The Department of State’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, Office of Assistance Coordination (NEA/AC) aims to advance these policy objectives by supporting the following assistance objectives:

    • Strengthen responsive and credible governance and civil society entities to capably serve and represent communities liberated from ISIS.
    • Advance a political solution to the Syrian conflict under the auspices of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2254; and,
    • Counter extremism and disinformation perpetuated by Iranian forces, designated terrorist organizations, and other malign actors through support for local governance actors and civil society organizations.

The operational field for the grant is not only the Syrian northeast which U.S. troops currently occupy, but also the al-Qaeda infested Idleb governorate as well as all government controlled areas.

The related Funding Opportunity Description (available through the above link) does not explain what an NGO could do to advance the highlighted U.S. government goals.

Work on the three year project is supposed to start on January 1 2020. It must be applied for by August 2 2019.

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Michael Brenner is professor of international affairs at the University of Pittsburgh; a senior fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations, SAIS-Johns Hopkins (Washington, D.C.), contributor to research and consulting projects on Euro-American security and economic issues. Publishes and teaches in the fields of American foreign policy, Euro-American relations, and the European Union. mbren@pitt.eduMore


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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 3 Jun 2019.

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