Syria is a big deal. We must act decisively without further delay.
It is extremely difficult for a terror organization to produce highly efficient and effective weapons of mass destruction. However, the problems usually associated with the development of such weapons have all been addressed by the Syrian government.
There, we have large chemical stockpiles that were developed using the resources to address purity, dissemination efficiency, etc., in a way that terrorist organizations cannot. They have the controls necessary to correct or avoid the problems associated with clandestine labs. They also have money to entice scientists and weapons specialists who are more inclined to consider their government’s quest for such weapons to be legitimate.
The result is that they can openly produce more lethal weapons in abundance. And in Syria, they have.
The Aum Shinrikyo cult in Japan used a poorly constructed weapon that killed several people and harmed hundreds. There are technical reasons that attack wasn’t more harmful than it was.
However, the same is not true of the Syrian weapons. Just one little piece of the guts of some of their weapons can create a WMD sufficient to harm thousands.
In Syria, there exists, therefore, an irresistible garden of high-quality WMDs ripe for the taking. Further, the terrorists who desire such things are already there and have been for decades.
We wish we lived in a world where such things do not exist. We would prefer not to have to worry about the problem, but the consequences of taking that approach to our security would be devastating.
Therefore, we have organizations such as the anti-terrorism team that I was in that spend their lives predicting and analyzing the threat and are capable of responding when it strikes.
In the case of binary chemical weapons — the type of Syrian weapons that have been in the news lately — most of the components are legal to possess anywhere in the world. You shouldn’t be shocked at all when I tell you that many of the components of binary weapons are available in bulk at the local hardware store.