Thursday, April 22, 2010

And Let's Not Forget About Syria's Nuclear Program

Robert S. Ford, the U.S. ambassador-designate to Syria had his confirmation hearing last month:
Ford argued that Washington should insist that Syria end its foot-dragging on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s investigation into its nuclear activities. For nearly two years, Syria has refused to cooperate with the IAEA’s probe of a suspected nuclear reactor that was destroyed by Israel in September 2007. Now the IAEA may request a rare “special inspection” of Syrian sites, making the country’s nuclear defiance the international community’s main point of contention with Damascus -- eclipsing even the investigation into Syrian officials’ involvement in the assassination of former Lebanese Premier Rafik Hariri.

Indeed, the international community cannot afford to let Syria’s proliferation attempts go unaddressed, since the violations threaten the global nonproliferation regime and may be evidence of a wider nuclear program. Even more, the IAEA’s investigation could provide Washington much needed leverage in its increasingly trying diplomatic engagement with Damascus.

The story of Syria’s nuclear program has been quietly building for more than two and a half years.
Read the whole thing.

Does anyone seriously think that the US--or the West in general--will be any more effective in stopping Syria's nuclear program than they have been in controlling Iran's? Syria has been playing the West longer than Iran has, and the very fact that the US is considering sending an ambassador to the country that assassinated Hariri and recently provided Scuds to Hizbollah, shows that Syria is still at the top of its game.

Lee Smith, author of The Strong Horse: Power, Politics, and the Clash of Arab Civilizations writes in an article for Tablet that Syria

occupies a unique position in U.S. policymaking circles: Syria kills Americans and our allies, but its strategic significance pales in comparison to China, Russia, and Iran, which makes it a second- or even third-tier issue.

Read the whole thing.
Smith goes into great detail laying out the background on the complex relationship between the US and Syria--and the Obama administration is not unanimous on improving relations with Syria or the reason for doing so.

But that matters little to Syria, which is following in Iran's very successful footsteps.

Technorati Tag: .
Post a Comment