US: ‘Tens of Thousands’ of Ground Troops Needed to Secure Syria’s Chemical Weapons

60,000 Ground Troops Just for Weapons, More for 'Peacekeeping,' Officials Guess

by Jason Ditz, August 16, 2012

Though US officials say there are no specific plans to invade Syria right now, the estimates coming out of US sources say that such a war could be an enormous undertaking, with tens of thousands of ground troops being deployed just to try to seize Syria’s chemical weapons.

Some of the sources cited by Reuters say that the chemical weapons invasion force itself could be as large as 50,000 to 60,000, with even more required for the occupation to try to carry out the “peacekeeping” that such an invasion would inevitably involve.

The White House declined to comment directly on the prospect of the invasion, but those familiar with the ongoing discussion say that the US would likely carry the brunt of the burden themselves, as a number of European nations have told them they have no interest in joining such a war.

Such a war would be open-ended, as there isn’t any specific public accounting of what weapons Syria does or doesn’t have, and as with Iraq’s fictional arsenal the occupation force would likely continue to randomly search for things they might conceivably find.

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