Yesterday I was skeptical of the president's claim that we could secure Syria's chemical weapons—the so-called diplomacy option—and not put boots on the ground. Turns out some in the administration, the UN, and the Pentagon are too.
“We’re talking boots on the ground,” said one former United Nations weapons inspector from Iraq, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he still works in the field on contracts and did not want to hurt his chances of future employment. “We’re not talking about just putting someone at the gate. You have to have layers of security.”
Destruction and deactivation of those weapons could then take years.
The Obama administration is skeptical about whether this approach might work. A senior administration official called securing chemical arms in a war zone “just the first nightmare of making this work.”
A Pentagon study concluded that doing so would take more than 75,000 troops. That rough estimate has been questioned, but the official said it gave “a sense of the magnitude of the task.”
That sound you hear is the United States getting sucked into yet another Middle East war.