The US military is going to use biometric measures in screening Syrian rebels for training, according to a Washington Post article by Missy Ryan. Those measures will be part of a broader screening process that will also involve intensive psychological evaluations and extensive background checks.
According to the article, the screening process will be especially rigorous in this case because the US will not be sending its own forces to fight alongside the Syrian rebels, and thus will have limited oversight – though it may also have to do with a secretive organization working covertly in Syria to collect evidence of war crimes, an area where the US would be keen to avoid liability. Whatever the reasons, the US is keen to ensure as much as possible that the rebels it trains are aligned with its objectives and its ideology.
Details are scant about what form the biometric screenings will take, but we do already know that the US military employs a range of intelligence gathering systems in its operations and that those include biometric scans; presumably US forces already have data on fighters on the ground in its conflict with the Islamic State forces. This seems an almost inevitable development given the already popular security screening measures that countries around the world use to secure their own borders; naturally that technology would extend outwards to foreign battlefields.
December 2, 2014 -by Alex Perala
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