News / USA

US Weighs Military Options for Syria Chemical Weapons

US Weighs Military Options for Syria Chemical Weaponsi
X
May 01, 2013 7:16 PM
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.
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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid