As POTUS spins in the winds of international diplomacy, most recently the careful (or 'incredibly small') accounting of Syria's chemical weapons, comes this from Homeland Security NewsWire:
U.S. still has 3,100 tons of chemical weapons to be destroyed17 September 2013
Last weekend’s U.S.-Russia agreement on Syria’s chemical weapons has put on hold a U.S. strike on Syria. The pause may allow a reflection on the fact that the United States possesses one of the world’s largest chemical arsenals. [emphasis mine] Sixteen years after a treaty banning of chemical weapons went into effect, the Unites States has 3,100 tons stored in Colorado and Kentucky.
The Anniston Star reports that this is a mere 10 percent of the quantities of chemical weapons materials the United Had in its arsenals whenthe United States, in 1997, ratified the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention. Under the treaty, the United States and Russia agreed to destroy their chemical stockpile. The United States expect its remaining 10 percent to be eliminated by 2023....
You know there is more here, including the background on the original Russia/USA agreement.
Not to worry though, as latest news says Russia has blocked the UN Syria resolution, amid concerns of the US insistence of tying the option of a Military strike to any Syrian non-compliance:
[...]Moscow has refused to support a U.N. resolution backed by the U.S., France and Britain that would call for severe consequences if Damascus refuses to hand over its chemical weapons to the international community for dismantling.[...]
More of the earlier story on the UN at VOA here.
There's an interesting take in the Jerusalem Post from a British former Army Colonel, who believes that the preliminary - much touted - US/Russia plan 'is not realistic':
Ex-British army colonel to Post: Russian-US plan on Syria chemical weapons ‘not realistic’
The agreement reached between the US and Russia for the destruction of chemical weapons in the possession of the Assad regime is fraught with difficulty and danger and, in the best case scenario, would likely end up with a token show of disarmament, Col. Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.
Speaking to the Post by phone, Kemp, who also served in the UK’s Joint Intelligence Committee and Cabinet Office Briefing Room, said: “I think it’s extremely difficult to do something like this during an active conflict, during a war. I think it’ll take a very large amount of time, with a significant amount of military protection, so that the inspectors can be as safe as they can be. That aspect will present huge challenges. Which country, first of all, will provide the scientists who will take these risks and the military forces to back them up? It’s a very dangerous situation.”...
Your move, Mr. President.
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