Syria’s Collapse Could Be a Chem Weapon Nightmare
What’s worse than a power-mad dictator with weapons of mass destruction? A power-mad dictator who may be about to lose them. This is the situation the world may soon be forced to face in Syria as the Assad regime begins to crack. It is a potential nightmare that ultimately might lead to the use and proliferation of WMD across the region.
Despite the rhetoric coming out of Washington, there are no easy solutions to the problem, and beyond the tragic possibility of actual WMD use, how this plays out in the near term could have deep strategic consequences by strengthening the resolve of other nations like Iran to acquire or retain WMD.
How bad is it? Earlier in the year, reports surfaced out of the Pentagon that it might take up to 75,000 troops to handle Syria’s illicit arsenal. And that’s one of the better scenarios. In the last few days open-source reports indicated that the Assad regime is moving Syria’s chemical weapons from their storage locations. This has fueled speculation about possible use against rebel forces and stoked fears of regional proliferation.