Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
U.S. Might be Unable to Secure All Syrian Chem Stocks: Dempsey
WASHINGTON -- The top U.S. military official on Wednesday said he is not fully confident that armed intervention could secure Syria's entire chemical arsenal.
"They’ve been moving it and the number of sites is quite numerous,” U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey told the Senate Armed Services Committee in afternoon testimony.
Dempsey's warning echoed cautionary remarks issued last week by National Intelligence Director James Clapper. Syrian President Bashar Assad's embattled government is widely believed to hold hundreds of tons of blister and nerve agents.
“If we had confidence [that] the opposition ... could secure [Syria's chemical stockpile], then we could secure it," Dempsey said.
He added, though, that Syrian opposition forces have opposed any foreign military intervention in the country.
"If we had to go in there, it would be nonpermissive," Dempsey said.
Separately, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the Pentagon "is funding over $70 million for activities in Jordan, including providing training and equipment to detect and stop any [chemical weapons] transfer along its border with Syria."
Note to our Readers
GSN ceased publication on July 31, 2014. Its articles and daily issues will remain archived and available on NTI’s website.
Oct. 31, 2013
This CNS issue brief examines the lessons learned from dismantling Libya and Iraq's chemical weapons programs and what these two cases presage for disarmament in Syria. In particular, this article explores the challenges relating to ensuring material and physical security for both inspectors and the chemical weapons stockpile itself; verifying the accuracy and completeness of disclosed inventories; and developing effective monitoring and verification regimes for the long-term. The conclusion examines recommendations stemming from this analysis.
This article provides an overview of Syria's historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.