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View Diary: Radio intercepts convince German intel that Assad neither ordered nor approved the chemical attack (320 comments)

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  •  They're unreliable. (4+ / 0-)

    Why Assad Won't Use His Chemical Weapons:

    But even these weapons have become obsolete for states. They are rarely strategically decisive, they have been obviated by advanced conventional arms (and, of course, nuclear weapons), and they are stigmatized. That is why all but six states belong to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which bans the production and use of chemical weapons. Syria's weapons, produced beginning in the early 1970s with Egyptian assistance, have been intended to deter Israel's nuclear capability and to offset Syrian conventional inferiority. It's unlikely they could have served either purpose, but designed for use in large-scale, state-to-state warfare, Syria's chemical weapons are particularly unsuited for the urban fights that have characterized the civil war. Close-quarters combat renders chemical weapons not only ineffective but counterproductive; with sarin or VX, a simple wind shift could turn the deadly agent against the Syrian military.

    The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

    by lysias on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 09:29:51 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  War Is Messy (0+ / 0-)

      It's true that these weapons are treacherous to those who use them. But all of Assad's gambits have been risky - he's a risk taker, and rewarded with victories for it. Meanwhile there's good reason to believe he has no choice but to retain rule by force, no matter how much, because he has no escape anywhere - much like Kadaffy. And indeed the chemical attack we know of was militarily very effective, without literal blowback onto Assad's forces.

      Actual events have proven that using chemical weapons in this war costs only the possiblity that foreign powers will escalate unacceptably to Assad. The rest of the arguments against it have been disproved.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 09:42:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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