About Those Syrian WMDs

Dr. Jill Dekker, a NATO consultant on Syrian WMDs says its biological arsenal is designed to be used in a deniable fashion. She calls it their "concept of use" -- what we would call doctrine.

Contrary to how the US State Department and other agencies tend to downplay the sophistication of the Syrian biological and nuclear programs, they are very advanced. Syria has always had the most advanced chemical weapons program in the Middle East.  The US and other western agencies have in a sense been distracted by this, but their biological programs and the “concept of use” are robust.

Syria’s biological weapons capability today is closely tied to the former and current Soviet and Russian programs respectively, the DPRK, Iran and the former Iraq regime. A major concern is their strategic concept of use - which has gone from one of ‘special weapons’ to incorporation into their ‘conventional arsenal.’ That is a significant shift and one that seems to have eluded the US. The Syrians run their biological programs out of the Syrian Scientific Research Council (SSRC) in Damascus.  They have separate wings for separate pathogens. They also have a number of programs running in Aleppo.

The Syrians are 100% committed to deniable operations as their modus operandi. Biological weapons, particularly those which might occur naturally, are the ultimate in deniability, for example, their cryptosporidium program for force reduction.  The Wednesday Report noted a few years ago that in terms of the Syrian anthrax program, Syria has extensive expertise in the industrial cultivation of germs and viruses for the civilian production of anthrax (and smallpox) vaccines. It also noted that Russian experts, contracted by Syria, are apparently helping them to cultivate a highly virulent anthrax germ for installation in missile warheads. Their pharmaceutical infrastructure is fully integrated with their defense structure.  Syrians cannot reach parity with US and Israeli conventional weapons. However, they view their bio-chemical arsenal as part of a normal weapons program.  This is a huge shift in thinking by the Syrian military.  It means they condone the use of biological pathogens as 'offensive' weapons. NATO and the United States should be very concerned about that re-designation.

One of course wonders how the Syrians could have been coordinating their WMD programs with the former regime in Iraq when Saddam had no such weapons. Nevertheless Dekker says that they received substantial help from the nonexistent program in Iraq.

It is important to remember that the Iraqi programs were far more advanced at the time than what the Syrians had, and were developing. The delivery of certain pathogens in a ‘weaponized’ form taught the Syrians new techniques they previously had not mastered. This is very problematic. I am less concerned about the types of pathogens or specific pathogens as these were available to Syria from other sources. What Hussein’s transfer taught the Syrians was more sophisticated ways of weaponization and dispersal. I believe Russian special ops- their Spetsnaz teams - transported sections of the programs. Remember these are not MIRVed ICBM’s we are talking about - you don’t need to stockpile biological weapons. It is the quality of the pathogen and ‘weaponization’ or aerosolization, milling processes that count, not the quantity. I don’t believe they moved some biological arsenals into the Baqaa Valley in Lebanon, perhaps sections of their chemical and nuclear weapons, but not the biological programs. Those are much too sensitive to dump in the desert. They must be carefully maintained in a defense laboratory. If you take something like Bot - I gram of crystalline Botulinium is estimated to kill about a million people if it were evenly dispersed - you don't want to bury it out in the desert. ...

Well they’ve mastered micro-encapsulation which is necessary for aerosol dispersal. They have experimented with parachute dispersal techniques for orthopox based on Soviet methods. They are also developing micro aerosol dispersal technologies which have no military application. This is probably the most alarming as it is designed for terrorist use. They are also looking at amplifying virulence. Syria wants to develop a very high quality arsenal and a very agile one, hence their crash programs. They do of course have a sophisticated chemical weapons program for which missile delivery is far more complementary. Remember, if you are preparing to do a covert release of a biological agent you don’t necessarily want to use something as traceable as a crop sprayer. The Syrians are perfecting advanced dispersal technologies that will be for use against civilians but far more sophisticated than the use of a crop duster.

Dekker may be alarmist. But speaking of Syria's chemical weapons program other sources amply confirm the existence of its chemical weapons and their delivery systems.  Spiegel announced a chemical weapons test only last August. "The Syrian amy is believed to have tested firing systems for chemical weapons in the desert at the end of August, according to witness reports. The tests apparently took place near the country's largest chemical weapons facility at Safira." The test was observed by Iranians, who wanted to verify its functionality.

In August Fox News reported on Israel's efforts to keep Hezbollah from acquiring chemical weapons and their delivery systems. “It appears the IDF may seek to eliminate Syria’s ability to transport the weapons to proxy forces but not to eliminate the actual weapons themselves by striking at storage facilities," Idan Kweller, political correspondent for Israel Army Radio, told FoxNews.com. "Israel’s main interest is to ensure the weapons are not passed on to the likes of Hezbollah in south Lebanon.”

If Jordan falls, as Lee Smith argues is possible, then "Jerusalem would lose its remaining strategic partner in the region—having already lost Turkey and Egypt—and face a possible nightmare on its longest border, exposing the country’s center to attacks from the east that might include Sunni Jihadists or Iranian-trained Iraqi agents …"

With a restive Egypt to the south,  Hezbollah in Lebanon and Jordan shaky, Israel could be in existential danger. The situation in the Middle East may be far more volatile than the administration is letting on. Recently "Israeli security officials are reportedly examining the possibility that a drone shot down deep in Israeli territory on Saturday may have been despatched in a Hezbollah-Iranian operation and may have been sent to surveil the Dimona nuclear site."  What if Syria and Iran were gauging the degree of Israeli nuclear readiness?

Fortunately we know that Secretary Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama have everything in hand.

If an 'unsuspected' catastrophe occurs from a systematic subordination of intelligence to the political agenda of the Left it will have been a crime of historical proportions. What is the truth? And how can we know it?


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