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View Diary: If Obama is Serious on Syria Endgame, 75,000 Troops Will be Needed (26 comments)

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  •  S Kitchen - no one in the administration (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, Mgleaf

    has suggested that securing and destroying the chemical weapons caches is a part of the US mission in Syria. That's what takes the 75,000 troops and several years.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 02:53:15 PM PDT

    •  And lobbying missiles at a strongman (0+ / 0-)

      will surely do it!

      So he's going to "deter" Assad, please explain how that will work.

      •  I never suggested that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mgleaf

        I was just making the point that the report you referenced estimated troop levels required to gain control and secure the chemical weapons and destroy them. A mission no one has suggested for US troops.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 02:58:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hit all the fuel dumps. Without aviation gas and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pajoly

        diesel, he can't fly aircraft, move tanks or tow artillery.

        The best place for the CW is locked down in bunkers heavily guarded by regular troops of the Syrian National Army... until the U.N peacekeepers come to take control of it after a cease-fire agreement.

        “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
        he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

        by jjohnjj on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 04:00:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  there is a potential way . . . . . (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cheminMD

        If, as some information seems to indicate, Syria's chemical weapons are as unstable and subject to degradation as Iraq's were, then eliminating the production plants would leave Assad without any ability to replace his chemical arsenal as it degrades away into useless goo over time. Precisely what happened to Saddam Hussein, after all of HIS chemical production plants were destroyed by aerial bombing during Desert Storm.

        That would leave Assad without any useful chemical weapons at all, making it impossible for him to continue any chemical attacks after a short while.

        PS--Let me state, before some breathless pie-fighter gets their undies all in a knot at me, that I am simply assuming what the US will probably do--I'm not, repeat not, as in n-o-t, saying that I like it or agree with it. As I have repeatedly said over the past few days, I see no good end to anything that anyone does in the Syrian civil war, I see no "good guys" anywhere in this situation (including the US), and I am adamantly opposed to any unilateral US action to "enforce international law" that does not have specific previous authorization by the UN.

        I should not have to state that, but alas, the roving packs of braying hounds on both sides make it necessary, sadly.

        •  Though wouldn't that just cause Assad to order (0+ / 0-)

          the use of all his existing chemical weapons before they degrade in several massive attacks under the "use it or lose it" theory?

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 07:52:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  perhaps, but it would take a massive logistical (0+ / 0-)

            effort to do that. Undoubtedly the eyes in the sky would see it in the works, and the drones would once again come crashing down . . .

            And, to be brutally practical, he doesn't have any useful target to use all that stuff on at once.  He could maybe (with enormous logistical effort) cover Damascus with Sarin--but how would that help him?

            He needs to knock out a large number of scattered small targets (neighborhoods where his opponents have control). Large waves of chemical weapons really aren't very well-suited for that.

        •  I would prefer we did nothing, (0+ / 0-)

          And the threat didn't exist. The DoD sees a threat and prepares for it. Here's an example. The took one of the reactors from the APG chem demil site, mounted it on a skid and voila "portable" hydrolysis unit. The picture doesn't show the all the support equipment, like the steam trailer, the generator, the drainstations, the caustic supply, the water and waste water tanks. It's a caravan, it would be fun to watch...from a distance. Kind of like a circus, but the clowns will be dressed up in level A's and TAPP boots.

          This system is, unfortunately, based on proven technology. It will work in a permissive environment. A portable incinerator will also work. If the Syrians ever decide to rebuild they might want to make some concrete, they will need a cement kiln. If the Syrians used binary and haven't mixed, the waste could be burned in a cement kiln. Not an ideal solution, but better than waiting for it to decay in an unstable country.

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