NJROTC Current Event
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...
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