WMD Transfer To Syria?

Captain Ed says the recent ISG report says that they cannot rule the possibility that Iraqi WMD were transferred to Syria. But can’t investigate because they lack access to Syria and the Bekka valley in Lebanon. He quotes the WaTimes:

But on the question of Syria, Mr. Duelfer did not close the books. “ISG was unable to complete its investigation and is unable to rule out the possibility that WMD was evacuated to Syria before the war,” Mr. Duelfer said in a report posted on the CIA’s Web site Monday night.

He cited some evidence of a transfer. “Whether Syria received military items from Iraq for safekeeping or other reasons has yet to be determined,” he said. “There was evidence of a discussion of possible WMD collaboration initiated by a Syrian security officer, and ISG received information about movement of material out of Iraq, including the possibility that WMD was involved. In the judgment of the working group, these reports were sufficiently credible to merit further investigation.”

But Mr. Duelfer said he was unable to complete that aspect of the probe because “the declining security situation limited and finally halted this investigation. The results remain inconclusive, but further investigation may be undertaken when circumstances on the ground improve.”

Sundries Shack quotes the WaPost

Although Syria helped Iraq evade U.N.-imposed sanctions by shipping military and other products across its borders, the investigators “found no senior policy, program, or intelligence officials who admitted any direct knowledge of such movement of WMD.” Because of the insular nature of Saddam Hussein’s government, however, the investigators were “unable to rule out unofficial movement of limited WMD-related materials.”

If WMD end up being found in Syria or Lebanon, it will be the anti-war folks who are to blame.

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4 Responses to WMD Transfer To Syria?

  1. ooghe says:

    dubious. if WMD were conveyed out of Iraq, a strategic and operational failure occured in the invasion of Iraq (assuming the causus belli was WMD, which I don’t believe it actually was). But if said WMD wind up in the hands of terrorists, then the strategists would be to blame.

    I actually raised this point a year ago and it was never addressed, because there is no response. Fortunately, individuals involved in the execution of said strategy have since conceded this point.

  2. The point is that the weapons were moved because the administration ended up being forced to wait an excessively long time to act. There was a lot of discussion of movements of stuff to Syria/Lebanon in the 1 year run-up to the action. Acting faster would have prevented it (as well as the preparation for insurgency).

  3. ooghe says:

    I can assure you that the one year timetable had everything to do with the logistics of mobilization and nothing to do with placating antiwar sentiment, either domestic or foreign. The intention of the US when it went through the UN was to establish a countdown to invading Iraq- in the hopes that a compliant UN would give a patina of international legitimacy (especially to our Sunni allies) to a decsion that was made sometime between November 2001/January 2002. Now, that being said- the one year of mobilization took the form that it did because they were preparing to have these WMD used on them and because we lacked specific intelligence on where, exactly, these weapons were. I had always wondered why they couldn’t just insert special forces into the palaces if that’s where they thought those weapons were, but the reasoning seems to have been that the intention always was the removal of Saddam, regardless of the specific threat from his supposed WMD.

    The inadequacy of US forces in confronting the insurgency was entirely independent of anything effected by the antiwar folks. Had the critics of Rumsfeld been ignored, a few light infantry divisions of about 40,000 would have gone into Baghdad, and it was only the resistance of Tommy Franks and CENTCOM that ratched that up to 160,000- I think it was.

    If WMD made it into Syria, then it’s clear that there wasn’t a sufficent ability to keep track of the Iraq/Syria border. Perhaps there was no way we could have fielded sufficient numbers to do that, but it also seems clear that Rumsfeld didn’t entirely grasp the full scope of what was he was getting into, either. Fortunately, if that happened, these weapons haven’t actually been used, so any serious accusation of strategic failure in that regard is hypothetical. And since I have come to understand that there were other issues than WMD driving policy at that point, I’ve moderated my judgement on that singular goal accordingly.

  4. oh boy says:

    yeah, what robert said.

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