The Washington Times‘ Kristina Wong reports that Secretary of Defense leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Martin Dempsey told reporters that the US isn’t planning to put boots on the ground in Syria, especially if chemical weapons are used against the rebels there;
“We’re not working on options that involve boots on the ground,” Mr. Panetta said at a Pentagon briefing. “I think you always have to keep the possibility that, if there is a peaceful transition and international organizations get involved, that they might ask for assistance in that situation. But in a hostile situation, we’re not planning for that.”
He said the greater challenge is deciding what steps the international community can take to ensure those weapons do not fall into the wrong hands.
“That is a discussion that we are having, not only with the Israelis but with other countries in the region, to try to look at, you know, what steps need to be taken in order to make sure that these sites are secured and that they don’t wind up in the wrong hands,” Mr. Panetta said.
Yeah, it sounds like a bunch of jibber-jabber to me, too. I’m so sure that whoever ends up in charge of Syria is going to allow Israeli troops into the country. The quotes from Dempsey are just as unintelligible. It doesn’t explain why they said they’d need 75,000 troops in Syria – certainly there’s been planning, if they arrived at that number back in November.