The Washington Post-
American diplomacy, backed by the threat of force, is why Syria's chemical weapons are being eliminated." That was President Obama in his State of the Union Tuesday, boasting about what he regards as one of his signature achievements from 2013. Well, not so fast.
On Wednesday Reuters reported how much of Syria's chemical stockpile has been handed over for destruction: 4.1%. That comes to about 59 tons of chemical weapons surrendered out of a stockpile of 1,433 tons. Oh, and that's the stockpile that the Bashar Assad regime officially declared. In September we reported that U.S. intelligence believes the regime disclosed only 32 of an estimated 50 chemical sites.
The Reuters dispatch is based largely on a forthcoming report from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which last year won a Nobel Peace Prize and is overseeing the removal of the Syrian weapons. "All the indications are" that "actually the regime has been sort of stalling on the implementation of the agreement," a diplomatic source told the news agency.
There's a nonshocker. It was predictable that as soon as Assad became a partner in his own chemical disarmament he would seize every opportunity to postpone and prevaricate. The regime now insists it needs armored vehicles and communications equipment to move the weapons. Next they'll demand that the stockpile will only be moved when it has new tanks and attack helicopters to escort the convoys, or perhaps when the rebels lay down their arms.
A State Department spokesman reacted to this with the mildest of scoldings that "the delay is increasing the cost to nations" for shipping and other removal efforts. Shipping costs? Don't expect the Administration to trumpet these violations at the U.N., where China and Russia have shielded Assad, or in Congress, which played its own role in looking away from the dictator's predations. And nobody should expect Mr. Obama to make good on his pledge—hollow even when he made it in September—to renew the threat of military action "if diplomacy fails."
But neither should the President get away with treating his Syrian debacle as a victory. Americans may want to wash their hands of the Mideast's many imbroglios. But one consequence of inaction is another despot who sleeps securely in the knowledge that a diffident superpower will exact no price on those who gas their own people. NJROTC Current Event Summary
It was announced during President Barack Obama’s state of the union address on Tuesday that he had succeeded in disarming the Assad regime of chemical weapons and that the weapons are currently being removed and will later be destroyed. This shows what can happen when a country like the United States has the guts to step in and say that hey this is wrong and stop the killing of innocent people. If more countries around the world took the same approach to every instance of military dictatorship and oppression the world would be a much better place. This relates to what we have learned in the NJROTC because we have learned the strategically importance of strategic deterrence through means of military projection ashore. The US has done just that by presenting the threat of force but taking a diplomatic approach to solve an issue. This strategy could not have carried a better outcome.