The U. S. is going to suspend its faltering Syrian rebel training program, U. S. officials said Friday in a move they characterized as a " pause. " "We're going to take an operational pause," Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Christine Wormuth said on a conference call with reporters Friday. "It's not halting the program," added Brett McGurk, the deputy special envoy for the anti-ISIS effort. "It's adapting it." Earlier Friday, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said during a news conference in London that the U.S. "remains committed" to training forces in Syria against ISIS, but is looking for ways to "improve" the program. The new strategy will shift toward supplying military aid to opposition leaders fighting ISIS instead of training and equipping rebels. The administration's effort to enhance the moderate Syrian opposition through training and equipment came under heavy scrutiny in recent weeks after the White House acknowledged the program had only succeeded in graduating a handful of recruits, despite spending nearly $500 million on the endeavor. Administration officials stressed that Syrian rebel commanders would continue to receive military equipment.