Thursday, August 25, 2016

In a Shocking Development in the World of Smart Diplomacy

Syria did not give up their chemical weapons capabilities despite the 2013 deal. I know. What a shock.

Is anybody really surprised by this?

The world’s chemical weapons watchdog has repeatedly found traces of deadly nerve agents in laboratories that Syria insisted were never part of its chemical weapons program, raising new questions about whether Damascus has abided by its commitments to destroy all of its armaments, according to a highly confidential new report.

The discoveries of precursors for chemical warfare agents like soman and VX at several undeclared facilities, including two on the outskirts of Damascus, underscored what a 75-page report by the director-general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) describes as a troubling pattern of incomplete and inaccurate Syrian disclosures over the past three years about the scope of the country’s chemical weapons program.

It was always clear that we couldn't trust Assad.

And I predicted in that post exactly what the problem is now that we see Assad using chemical weapons and evidence of cheating (back to the initial article):

Robert Ford, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute and a former U.S. ambassador to Syria who helped negotiate the chemical weapons deal, doubts that the Kremlin would support aggressive action against the Assad regime at the same time it is trying to prop up its ally in Damascus.

“Do we really think that the Russians are now going to allow Chapter 7 sanctions against their client?” Ford said. “The administration has worked itself into a position that’s just untenable. They look foolish.”

If you ever believed the Syrian chemical weapons deal was anything other than an excuse to avoid confronting the brutal Assad regime after he crossed President Obama's ill-considered "red line" on chemical weapons use, well, you're just too dense to even talk to.

In the end, Assad just used America to clean up his elderly stockpiles of chemical weapons and raw materials while keeping the best stuff in order to reconstitute a  newer and more lethal chemical arsenal once our attention wanders away.

UPDATE: Related:

A UN investigation established that President Bashar al-Assad's forces carried out at least two chemical attacks in Syria and that Islamic State jihadists used mustard gas as a weapon, according to a report seen by AFP on Wednesday.

There are 6 other incidents whose origin is unclear.