Laurie Garrett says before American cruise missiles reach their targets, serveral diplomatic steps must be taken in order to stop the further use of nerve gases by the Syrian regime against its own people and prevent the use of chemical weapons from becoming the region's "new normal."
Secretary of State John Kerry gave this statement on August 30, 2013, to review with the American people the Obama administration's assessment about the August 21 chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilizans and the steps taken to develop a plan with U.S. and international officials to intervene.
The search for evidence of chemical weapons in Syria is painstaking and hampered by harsh conditions, but could yield decisive findings as debate over military action intensifies, says expert Amy E. Smithson.
Laurie Garrett explains what makes sarin gas dangerous to humans and reviews the chemical's deadly history in this op-ed for CNN Opinion. She then discusses the potential political implications of sarin's usage in Syria, concluding that "the Assad regime is playing with regional fire."
Elliott Abrams says the problem with the Obama administration's probable reaction in Syria is that it does not seem likely to address real American security interests at stake or the growing humanitarian disaster, and instead focus narrowly on another: Assad's use of chemical weapons.
Julia Sweig argues that, while skepticism of military intervention is reasonable in normal times, the use of chemical weapons in Syria has changed the goalposts and demands action from the world. In spite of its painful memories of U.S. intervention in its own recent history, Latin America should invoke the doctrine of Responsibility while Protecting, and partner with Western leaders as a source of humanitarian aid and refugee assistance.
"Refugee camps are born of emergency and evolve into cities of dependency, bureaucracy, and static suffering. They rescue human beings, and then they warehouse them. They relieve the host country of the financial burden and diffuse it among the member states of the United Nations."
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Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
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