Monthly Archives: October 2019

D Chollet on Syria CW

Not that I’ve looked, but I don’t remember reading this rationale for the Obama administration’s efforts to incentivize Syria to accede to the CWC, etc.. Essentially, Derek Chollet told the New Yorker last month that the US needed to prevent ISIS from seizing the weapons and thereby creating the need for a military invasion:

The operation to remove chemical arms from Syria concluded in the summer of 2014, just as isis swept in from the desert. Had those weapons remained, the U.S. might well have felt compelled to send a huge force to seize them. “Obama would have invaded Syria,” Chollet said. “We could not have allowed even the smallest chance that isis could have gotten hold of them.” Instead, Obama dispatched some seven thousand American troops to northeast Syria and to Iraq in order to fight isis. After they arrived, a de-facto no-fly zone was established in Kurdish-controlled northeast Syria. The policy, which remains in effect, has kept Assad and his allies from bombing civilians in the area.

D Perricos on Safeguards, Toilets, and Snakes

A while back, the late Demetrius Perricos, former important IAEA and UNMOVIC official, recounted some of his experiences as an IAEA inspector:

I started in 1972, and I started working in South and SE Asia areas, India, Vietnam, up to there, and the Far East, Korea and Japan at the time. The first inspections were in Pakistan and India systematically, and they were not very pleasant states at the time, there were health problems for the inspectors going there. But you could learn a lot at the time, you could learn to face difficulties, from solving problems of how to develop your surveillance films – you had to use the toilet, sit on the seat to have complete dark to have the film developed in the dark. You had to fight with scorpions and snakes – when you are staying in the areas near the reactors – but you learned a lot – how to negotiate with the people, how to discuss with them, they were not easy, but you had to be very careful.

Not sure how well the link is working.