The United States and Russia have given Syria one week to tell everything about its chemical weapons program. The Syrians will have to list what they have, how much of it, the munitions that carry it, where it all is and the facilities where they make it.
The agreement hammered out between the Americans and the Russians over the weekend puts every step on a fast track. A statement posted on the State Department website calls for “stringent special verification measures, beginning within a few days, including a mechanism to ensure the immediate and unfettered right to inspect any and all sites.” Inspections will be completed by November. It sets a goal to eliminate all chemical weapons within the first half of 2014.
For smaller stockpiles, smaller incinerators have worked well. Brian Finlay with the Stimson Center, a defense think tank in Washington,said when Albania discovered a couple of bunkers with mustard gas agents, “the United States paid to have the incinerators built in Germany and shipped directly to the sites in the country.” Finlay said that was a “great case for how it might be done in Syria.”
But in Albania, they were dealing with 16 tons of material. Syria has an estimated 1,000 tons or more.
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