The New York Times reported that the Pentagon estimates that, if they get the call to secure Syria’s unconventional weapons stockpile that they’ll need seventy-five thousand to accomplish that task;
The estimated size of the potential effort, provided to the White House by the military’s Central Command and Joint Staff, called into question whether the United States would have the resources to act quickly if it detected the movement of chemical weapons and forced President Obama, as he said in August, to “change my calculus” about inserting American forces into Syria. So far Mr. Obama has avoided direct intervention into the most brutal civil conflict to emerge from the Arab Spring uprisings, and the Pentagon assessment was seen as likely to reinforce that reluctance.
The White House on Thursday declined to comment on the Defense Department’s assessment.
The Pentagon has not yet been directed to draft detailed plans of how it could carry out such a mission, according to military officials. There are also contingency plans, officials say, for securing a more limited number of the Syrian chemical weapons depots, requiring fewer troops.
The article goes on to tell how those peaceful Lebanon-based fellows at Hezbollah have set up camps near some of the storage facilities in Syria. Good thing that those Hezbollah boys aren’t a threat to anyone, huh? Apparently they’ve also trained at some of the depots.
Its decision to train fighters close to the major chemical sites, some officials speculate, could be rooted in a bet that their camps will not be bombed if the West believes there is a risk of hitting the stockpiles.
Yeah, that must be it. Or it could be the reason that we need 75,000 troops to secure the weapons. In a world of precision weapons, I don’t think that hiding “near” WMDs is much protection.