Koblentz on the Difficulties of Destroying Syria’s Stockpile

Dr. Gregory Koblentz was quoted in two articles on Syria yesterday. In the first piece in the New Republic, Dr. Koblentz discusses the potential use of Tomahawk missiles (pictured above) should the US decide to pursue military action in Syria.

“The advantage to Tomahawks, according to Gregory Koblentz, a George Mason University political scientist who specializes in weapons of mass destruction, is they are highly accurate, fly low to the ground (and can therefore typically evade air defenses), and can be fired from ships hundreds of miles away (hence the frequently used term “lobbed”)—thereby putting American soldiers at very little risk. The downside to Tomahawks is they pack a comparatively small explosive punch and, particularly because they cannot be reprogrammed in-flight, are best used on stationary targets—an especially problematic proposition given that the regime will likely have had several weeks to move whatever they want to move to different locations.”

In the second piece in Voice of America, Koblentz is quoted on the likelihood of Syria eliminating its chemical weapons stockpile.

“‘I don’t think the Syrian regime is serious about actually turning over all of their chemical weapons, and even if they were to do so in the middle of a civil war would make it virtually impossible for any kind of international group to conduct their work safely and securely. So I don’t see this happening anytime soon, if ever,’ said Koblentz.”

Read the New Republic piece here, and the Voice of America piece here.

(image: U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Sunderman)

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