Syria’s chemical weapons: Pentagon knew in 2012 that it would take 75,000 ground troops
By David Martosko
Securing Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles and the facilities that produced them would likely require the U.S. to send more than 75,000 ground troops into the Middle Eastern country, MailOnline learned Wednesday.
That estimate comes from a secret memorandum the U.S. Department of Defense prepared for President Obama in early 2012.
U.S. Central Command arrived at the figure of 75,000 ground troops as part of a written series of military options for dealing with Bashar al-Assad more than 18 months ago, long before the U.S. confirmed internally that the Syrian dictator was using the weapons against rebel factions within his borders.
‘The report exists, and it was prepared at the request of the National Security Advisor’s staff,’ a Department of Defense official with knowledge of the inquiry told MailOnline Wednesday on condition of anonymity.
‘DoD spent lots of time and resources on it. Everyone understood that this wasn’t a pointless exercise, and that eventually we would be tasked with going and getting the VX and sarin, so there was lots of due diligence.’
The logistical difficulties of bringing Syria’s chemical warfare infrastructure under control stands in stark contrast with the text of a resolution passed Wednesday by a powerful Senate committee, and with assurances Secretary of State John Kerry has given committees in both houses of Congress.