Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Introduces Legislation to Stop Arming Terrorists

The legislation would prohibit the U.S. government from using American taxpayer dollars to provide funding, weapons, training, and intelligence support to groups like the Levant Front, Fursan al Ha and other allies of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, al-Qaeda and ISIS, or to countries who are providing direct or indirect support to those same groups.
Rep. Tulsi 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.[i]

“The CIA has also been funneling weapons and money through Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and others who provide direct and indirect support to groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda. This support has allowed al-Qaeda and their fellow terrorist organizations to establish strongholds throughout Syria, including in Aleppo.
While there is nuance associated with this, I tend to agree with her. Al-Qaeda is alive and well, and will likely reemerge as a significant threat once ISIL is suppressed significantly. Our short term goal of defeating ISIL has led to some expedient actions that undermine our longer term national security interests.

Her point about seizing arms deliveries to the Contras led to a peaceful solution in Nicaragua is partially true, but obviously more complex than she alludes to in her speech. Much like U.S. support to El Salvador didn't defeat the insurgency, rather it suppressed it until the USSR collapsed and they no longer had external assistance. You can't mirror that in Syria, since many countries are providing support to their favorite proxy group(s). No doubt external support, to include from the U.S. has prolonged the conflict and increased the suffering, but even if the U.S. stopped, it would still continue. I think the question we need to answer, is why is it in our interest to continue to support these proxy groups? Does the gain out weigh the risk? Are these decisions in line with our national values, or are we just exaggerating the threat from ISIL to the point that we're making irrational decisions so politicians can respond to the 24 hour news cycle?