Analysts for the Middle East have previously argued that U.S. intervention in Syria would be shortsighted and further destabilize the region. They pointed out that the Obama administration lacked a grand strategy that left them victims of rhetorical entrapment which is precisely what happened when Obama drew his red line on the use of chemicals. However, the ayalysis did not envision the chemical attack Assad unleashed on his people. Now the conflict is seen in a different light.
The FBI is currently increasing its surveillance of Syrians living inside the U.S.A. because of a concern that an attack on the Assad regime could result in terrorists attacks in America. The government has also warned federal agencies and private companies that cyber-attacks could also be possible. The FBI is and will be interviewing hundreds of Syrians to uncover any intelligence operations that could develop attacks in America. With September 11 such an obvious inviting target, the Syrian community remains under heightened surveillance.
One of the questions now receiving careful attention is how the Syrian regime amassed such a large quantity of nerve gas. The September 8, 2013 edition of The New York Times presented a headline grabbing story of how this frightening situation occurred. Their conclusion was that a combination of Western laxity, aid from the Soviet Union and Iran, as well as Syrian deceptive maneuvering around the world allowed the Assad family to stockpile its mass of chemical weapons.
Anyone watching the Monday, September 9, interview of President Assad with Charlie Rose could see the ease with which Assad lied about their chemical strike against their own people. It was this exact duplicity that the Syrian goverment used to obtain the chemicals that they assembled to make sulfur mustard, VX, and sarin gas. A Russian general helped the Syrian government establish its chemical weapons program. The Syrian modus operandi was to hide procurement under the guise of legitimate pharmaceutical transactions. Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center has been identified as a principal government location for the development of chemical weapons. In January, Israel hit a convoy loading up just outside of the Research Center. Once known as Maine Biological Laboratories, the company was convicted of shipping biological agents to Syria in 2001. Such activities across the world allowed both the Assad father and son to develop the current stockpile.
But hold the phone! Is it possible that international inspection could dismantle this stockpile and make an American missile strike unnecessary? Currently, the international uproar is a hope that Syria would allow this stockpile to be hauled off and America attacks would be adverted. Such an action would end decades of Syrian secret conniving to build up the stockpile —A welcome relief for everyone.
Can Syrian be trusted to do so? No more than they could be trusted when they began building up the arsenal. Critical and persistent investigation would be necessary to make sure the Assad regime is not once again lying. Can the world rely on that posibility?
We shall see.