News / USA

US Weighs Military Options for Syria Chemical Weapons

US Weighs Military Options for Syria Chemical Weaponsi
X
May 01, 2013
Pentagon planners have been putting together military options for the president to consider in dealing with Syria's chemical weapons. Analysts say none of those scenarios is simple or straightforward - as they could involve the deployment of tens of thousands of troops, a high risk of contamination, and a likely large-scale escalation of the conflict. VOA Pentagon correspondent Luis Ramirez has more.
TEXT SIZE - +
Luis Ramirez
— Pentagon planners have been putting together military options for the president to consider in dealing with Syria's chemical weapons. Analysts say none of those scenarios is simple or straightforward - as they could involve the deployment of tens of thousands of troops, a high risk of contamination, and a likely large-scale escalation of the conflict.

The options being considered include bombing weapons sites and even the possibility of arming rebels.  

In any scenario, there are no easy or quick solutions, leading Defense Department officials to proceed with extreme caution.  

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the U.S. has concluded with some degree of varying confidence that Syria has used chemical weapons, but cautions against any rash decisions.

"We are continuing to assess what happened, when, where. I think we should wait to get the facts before we make any judgments on what action, if any should be taken, and what kind of action," Hagel said.

Just locating the chemical weapons would be a monumental operation that could involve the deployment of hundreds of U.S. troops, who would be tasked with safeguarding the weapons and preventing contamination - a job for which they have already trained extensively in places like Iraq.

Syria's air defenses remain strong, and analysts envision a powerful and fierce reaction from 's forces.

Michael Rubin, of the American Enterprise Institute, said it could be a messy operation.

“We're not going to be able to simply secure the chemical weapons. That could take a couple of weeks and that would be if the government was cooperating with us," he said. "So, if we want to get rid of the chemical weapons, it literally means bombing them. That's going to spread a great deal of contamination.”

Another approach would be to set up a safe haven involving the enforcement of no-fly zones that would require even more resources and participation from allies - making it an even more complicated option.

With no consistent intelligence at this point, the choices remain unclear.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
May 02, 2013 10:34 AM
Putting boots on the ground, in a civil war, is a very very bad option. If such an option is necessary, then the model is the removal of the Taliban from power with the Northern Alliance. Given the numerous ethnic groups, in Syria, supporting the sides and given the numerous foreign fighters, putting boots on the ground is not a good option. Dealing with the chem/bio weapons from the air, does pose the risk of contamination, the methods/tools/ approach needs to be tested, using inert sustances with similar physical characteristics.... At this point in time there are very few easy options if any; and even if the leadership departs,at some point in time, the chem/bio weapons still remain in a country full of unregulated/ uncontrolled fighters.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid