Pentagon: 75k troops needed to secure Syria’s WMDs

| November 16, 2012

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.

Category: Terror War

Comments (46)

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  1. SSG Medzyk says:

    When we find the ones that say “To Bashar. Love, Saddam”, can we slap a few idiots around?

  2. Ex-PH2 says:

    Here’s the solution: Bomb the stockpiles.

    Then the weapons are no longer available and the threat of someone using them is also eliminated.

    That requires only the use of a few carefully-aimed explosive packages, not 75,000 troops.

    Should I send my suggestion to the Pentagon?

  3. ex af says:

    what ever happened to the ‘one riot, one Ranger’??? 75 thousand??? And how many contractors??

  4. Pat says:

    Like the bombing idea. That doesn’t work, Triple Canopy security is probably looking for contracts.

  5. Nik says:

    “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.”

    Or maybe the tail is wagging the dog. Maybe the Pentagon was told to come up with a high estimated number to justify not going in.

  6. Ex-PH2 says:

    Some reporter on WGN just now implied that Israel was completely at fault for using missiles to defend itself against incoming missiles from Gaza.

    So does this mean that Hamas can launch all the crap it wants to and Israel should just sit and take it?

    Here are some links regarding Hamas’s activities in the Gaza region:–time-city-targeted-Gaza.html

    I don’t think I would just sit on my backside. I would certainly fight back, and I’m not Jewish.

    I find this reporter’s attitude extremely offensive. I wonder if he’d feel that way if someone launched a missile at his house and blew it up.

  7. Nik says:

    Yah. I’m not Jewish. I’m not religious, so Jerusalem has no more particular meaning for me than London or Cairo. I’ve never been to any of the three, but I’d like to.

    But Israel’s been our ally since there was an Israel. Bare minimum, we should support their right to defend themselves. Bare minimum. Ideally we would at least provide technical and material support.

  8. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    No, no, and no! Our guys need home, serious R & R and the next SOB who recommends such a thing as this ought to be outfitted with a blue helmet and shipped off.

  9. Twist says:

    Nik, religion aside, leaving Israel to the wolves would give a big FU to all of our allies.

    On a side note I’ve been to both Jerusalem and Cairo and let me tell you if you have a choice choose the former because it is a hell of a lot cleaner.

  10. Nik says:

    Well, I’m not suggesting we send in a shitload of guys in there. Syria would be a ratfuck of a conflict. Iraq still isn’t civilized and we spent how long there? That’s our object lesson.

    Now if we have a goal, let’s hear it. We wanna rid the Syrians of some WMDs, cool. But taking from Ex-PH2’s idea, that’s a job best suited for doing from the air, not the ground.

    Let the CIA do their job. They can get on the ground, ferret out the storage sites and lase the targets for our missiles.

    We can accomplish all those goals without a single regiment being rolled in. Support our ally, blow-up-ify the WMDs, and get out.

  11. Ex-PH2 says:

    What Nik said.

    Don’t we still have MRV missiles tucked away somewhere?

  12. streetsweeper says:

    And so, Hussein did send his WMD’s to Syria…Go figga.

  13. Ex-PH2 says:

    Find the weapons.

    Aim at the weapons.

    Blow up the weapons.

    Go home, order a pizza with everything except corn and pineapple, and make some popcorn.

  14. SSG Medzyk says:

    [b]2-17 Air Cav Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    No, no, and no! Our guys need home, serious R & R and the next SOB who recommends such a thing as this ought to be outfitted with a blue helmet and shipped off.[/b]

    So exactly what did I sign up for, if not to fight our enemies? Would you prefer fighting them in Dearborn Michigan, rather than in their own countries?

    I prefer the BOOM BOOM BOOM, look around for survivors, shoot them, THEN come home method.

  15. AW1 Tim says:

    The existence of stockpiles of WMD is exactly what tactical nukes were designed for.

    ID the target, send in a Tactical Nuke. if there are traces of the WMD left after 24 hours, send in another Tactical Nuke.

    Works for me.

  16. The original reason we went to Iraq was to find the “Weapons of Mass Destruction” …which seems to have been bullshit….

  17. OWB says:

    @ #14: That was most likely sarcasm.

  18. Ex-PH2 says:

    OK, I watched several videos, night and daytime both, of Israeli missiles taking out Hamas’s missiles, and cheered every time the IDF missiles made a hit.

    Does that make me a bad girl? Well, I don’t give a crap any more.

    The whole PC thing won’t be quite so wonderful when the US Capitol dome is whacked by a shoulder-held rocket. (That was in a movie. I don’t remember which one. But anything is possible.)

  19. OWB says:

    @ #16: So is it OK to blow them up now that we found them? (Most everyone already knew where they were, but some people seem to prefer to pretend that there never were any.)

  20. DaveO says:

    Take that number, 75K, and triple it – that’s the real number of troops you’ll need. We’ll be fighting Syrians, Iranians, possibly the Turks, and most jihadists who can’t afford the flights to Mexico City or Karachi.

    Take that number, 75K, and triple it – and then multiply by $1Bn and that’s the cost to the US of A over the next 3.5 years to occupy Syria, parts of Lebanon, and at least the Sinai.

    The cost of this new war will provide the excuse to slash retired pay, benefits, and further erode military readiness (rest, refit, and retrain).

  21. DaveO says:

    If Assad/Syria had no significant WMD prior to 2002, why is Assad suddenly flush with WMD?

    Bush’s fault(TM)?

  22. Ex-PH2 says:

    @20 – I see no need to send in troops and get into a ground war, if we have tactical weapons that can do the job instead.


    @21 – They’ve most likely been shifted from one place to another since Saddam Hussein shipped them off to Syria and other places before he went down a bolthole that had no exit.

    I do remember the partialy constructed missile launcher that Gerald Bull had built for Saddam Hussein, because it was shown on CNN live when it was found during the Gulf War. It was specifically aimed at Israel, at Jerusalem, in fact, and was designed to launch long-range missiles with large payloads.
    That may have been 20-some years ago, but it was something that could not be moved around. It was a lot like the launch ramps for the Nazi’s buzzbombs back in WWII. The missiles it was supposed to launch were missing, although there were bits and pieces of hardware lying around that were designed to ready those missiles for launching.

    That missile launcher was the reason that Gerald Bull was assassinated on his own doorstep.

  23. UpNorth says:

    @#18. “The whole PC thing won’t be quite so wonderful when the US Capitol dome is whacked by a shoulder-held rocket”. Or, a highjacked airliner.

  24. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    @14. Why you enlisted I do not know but having you and yours risking life and limb for an escape strategy, advanced by political correctness and posturing, is not something I can support. I am sick to death of our military and their families suffering deployment after deployment with nothing but a prospect of withdrawl to look forward to. If someone recently has released a plan to actively seek and destroy our identified enemies in force and in earnest, I missed it. The Benghazi debacle strikes me as the perfect microcosm of the entire sordid situation. And the prospect of more American boots anywhere in the ME sickens me all the more. And as for our enemies being in Michigan, they are all ready there and elsewhere in this country. I wish you and yours nothing but the very best.

  25. B Woodman says:

    My thoughts exactly. I’m with the others, “Death from Afar”. Give ’em a “High” & tight. As expensive as the missiles, rockets & bombs are, they’re still cheaper then 200K+ troops over a 3+ year span, chasing around in a hostile country with hands-tied-behind-your-back ROE’s.
    And if you think that the WMDs got moved before you took out the one target, then take out the next target. Lather, rinse, repeat.

  26. Ex-PH2 says:

    I’m sick of the Vietnam syndrome — go in, waste troops, resources, and money, and make the ordinary citizen despise the military.

    No. No more.

    If we go in, we’re in it to win it OR WE DO NOT GO.

  27. Prig679 says:

    then we will never go in.

    we gave up “in it to win it” a long time ago.

    That’s over with.

  28. To those of you that may have a Bible laying around the house. I would urge you to take a look at Isaiah ch17 and what it says about Damascus.
    Also look at Psalm 83 for what may be developing right now.

  29. Ex-PH2 says:

    Oh, don’t make us look it up. It’s too late in the evening. Spell it out for us, Charlie.

  30. Doc Bailey says:

    I want to throw this thought out because I do not have time to read the WHOLE thread.

    If we ever needed to do something like this it would be next to impossible. When sequestration hits we would need to deploy Airmen and Sailors in stead of soldiers and marines to do the job. This shit is getting a little ridiculous.

  31. DefendUSA says:

    Well, it appears them dubbaya em dees done found their way to Syria like I been sayin’ all along, er, since 2006. Yesirree, they need to be blowed up. Surprise, surprise, sur-prise!!

  32. Ex-PH2 says:

    Israel is cooking right along:

    Nice shot of the shot, too. 🙂

    How come we’uns ain’t that forceful?

  33. Ex-PH2 says:

    This link (from Fox News’ website) leads to other links to articles about what is going on in the Middle East:'Weapon'%20Against%20US%3C/a%3E%3C/b%3E%20%20%3C/li%3E%3Cli%3E%3Cb%3E%3Ca%20href=

    I found it particularly interesting that Iraq is threatening to use oil as a wespon against us for siding with Israel over being attacked by Hamas.

    My suggestion is that we go back in there, fully loaded with incendiary bombs and set their damn oil wells on fire.

    But then, I don’t see things through the distorted lenses in place in WDC. And it would automatically spike the price of oil, and subsequently gasoline, so that means that I would have to impose price limits on both at the commodities markets, which would piss people off at me (and I don’t care), but I’d do it anyway.

    I’m getting cranky in my old age.

  34. Twist says:

    I’m curious about if Israel and the US went away, who would the Arab world blame all of their problems on?

  35. Ex-PH2 says:

    Probably whoever their next customer is, Twist.

    The probability that this conflict will increase is very high.

    There is a historical correlation to an escalation of military threats in the Middle East involving Israel. Keep an eye on what is going on during November 22-27. This dangerous, and very explosive situation may erupt, the closer we get to those dates. And it may involve other areas too, besides the Middle East.

  36. Twist says:

    Ex-PH2, I’m starting to think that the Mayans where on to something.

  37. Ex-PH2 says:

    You and me both, Twist, but there is more to it than meets the eye.

    How about tempers flaring out of control in public between Congress and the WH? And bullying and coercion? Why should it take until after the election to set up an inquiry?

    And why is the one of the only two allies we have in the Middle East being left to its own devices? (Turkey is the other one.)

    Conspiracy theories are everywhere, because this whole affair had been known before the election, but was held off from public disclosure until just after the election. Why? Clinton didn’t resign when he was in a similar position a few years ago, did he? No, he did not.

    There is a storm gathering. I can feel it building up. We can weather it if we’re prepared, or otherwise face serious destruction, and I do not mean “storm” in the sense of bad weather. I think you know that, and I think you can feel it, too.

  38. Ex-PH2 says:

    Just keeping things up to date:

    I guess maybe the Israelis don’t like the gifts the Palestinians are giving them, so they’re giving them back?

    Don’t start a fight with your next-door neighbor, unless you mean to finish it. Did Hamas really think the IDF would not respond?

  39. DaveO says:

    #42 Ex-PH2: the first step in turning Israel into a US Territory is making it financially dependent.


    Step 2: Break Israeli pretense to independence by fomenting endless war


    Step 3: Generate crisis that will force Israel to ask for direct American intervention


  40. Ex-PH2 says:

    @43 – Never gonna happen.