As Barack Obama has continually attempted to make the case for US military intervention in Syria he has frequently insisted that there will be “no boots on the ground,” however there is now speculation that any agreement with Syria to turn over control of the chemical weapons may require just that.
Last week Defense Department officials were less certain regarding the possibility that US military personnel could possibly be centers help secure or destroy Syria’s chemical weapons.
When asked whether or not US troops were prepared to help assist were an international agreement allowing Russia to take control of the vast stockpile of chemical weapons believed to belong to the Syrian governments bear fruit, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little gave a vague answer.
“I’m not going to speculate on who may or may not be participating in a process that may or may not take place,” Little said. “We’ve got to see where the process goes” before the U.S. military considers involvement, he said.
The question is an important one because the first steps in the process regarding the chemical weapons are now taking place in Geneva. Secretary of State John Kerry has met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov over Moscow’s proposal that international teams take control of chemical weapons. The Syrian government is already tentatively agreed to the Russian proposal as well as joins the list of nations that signed onto a ban of chemical weapons ban on chemical and biological weapons.
Lavrov has attempted to persuade the United States to speed up negotiations by dropping its threat to use military action against Assad’s government. However, Little said “the threat of military action is driving the process forward.”
Despite the talks, the United States is still keeping a respectable naval presence of the Syrian that includes four destroyers and the Nimitz carrier strike group. Little refused to comment on whether submarines were in the area to join with the destroyers in launching Tomahawk missile attacks. He went on to stress that “we remain fully prepared to act” in the event that the talks with the Russians fail.
Following news of the Syrian government accepting the Russian proposal, president Obama held off on asking Congress to approve a resolution authorizing him to use military force, however he still has refused to take the option of a military strike off the table and has continued to insist that he has the authorization to launch a military strike in Syria even if Congress were to vote against this resolution.
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