US response amid reports of chemical weapon use in Syria
Retired Maj. Gen. Bob Scales weighs in
- Duration 7:34
- Date Dec 24, 2012
Retired Maj. Gen. Bob Scales weighs in
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There's also unsettling news of a possible chemical weapons attack overseas that's right -- heard me right there are reports out now that Syria.
May have used separate government airstrike that killed dozens of people waiting outside a bakery yesterday and they may have used chemical weapons for that but maybe more troubling is the report of seven others killed.
In an area -- currently controlled by the rebels.
When they held -- apparently poisonous gas that was sprayed by the Syrian army and President Obama had already declared that there's a red line regarding the use of chemical weapons on the Syrian people.
So now there are growing questions as to what if anything the US could do or should do.
If we're forced to respond.
Bob -- is a retired US army major general and F and C military analysts and general Merry Christmas thanks for joining us Merry Christmas to you TJ you have to become more concerned about Syria at this point have they cross the Red Line and should we respond.
Well first of all let's be clear that.
Most initial reports are wrong it could be that what was used as what's -- white phosphorus which is not a chemical weapon.
But what it's dropped from an aircraft -- part by artillery shells it looks a lot like.
Like a chemical weapon because that gives off a huge white cloud -- oftentimes people mistake them for getting weapons but if in desperation.
-- -- ordered the use of a particularly of nerve gas that share this really is a red line because they.
The effects of -- -- all military is absolutely.
My new but it's -- -- of civilian populations particularly those in towns and cities.
Can be absolutely catastrophic.
How well we know.
And what would we do.
They're they're they're two indicators number one is win the Syrian army issues gas -- protective clothing but there's so there's there's some intelligence that suggests that a solders ordered that to be done.
And second sadly the -- they the next indication is.
Extensive civilian casualties again particularly in cities and towns now.
There are reasons why -- -- should not do this one is that could very -- the effects of of this of the downwind.
Killing effect of these munitions could very well.
-- his own soldiers and his own followers so it's very difficult to predict.
-- what the killing area or the lethal area of the really think all he cares general based on -- hit thousands of people who have died where he has casualties among its troops.
You know Jamie that's a great point in -- some who have told me that a -- is backed up to the wall right now all he cares about is the survival.
Himself and his family and he's willing to do virtually any thing to extract itself from Damascus so you could be right but god forbid this is true.
Because as you know.
The lethal effects of -- -- just one tiny droplet will -- and on unprotected person in minutes in this truly is a red line and it could result in.
Thousands if not tens of thousands of of innocent casualties -- If he does give up at some -- he sure is reducing the number of places that will give them asylum at this point.
Let me ask you about North Korea a member they shot off that missile they said there was a satellite on there.
They just wanted to keep an eye on earth.
Now there's some evidence based on looking at the capsule when it came down.
That that's not the case what did we learn from the evaluation by South Korea.
Let me give you a little rocket what I want.
If the rocket is intended for satellite civilian use it uses liquid oxygen -- pumped into the missile.
Kept topped off the missiles fared very quickly -- like to space shuttle.
If the missile was intended to be an on -- he'd be down there the up then they the oxidized here is is an historical conditioned which is called -- -- -- gas it.
Our missiles designed in the 1960.
Sixties had -- kick -- it is an oxidized.
That means that it's an ICBM it's it's it's built and designed to be stored for long periods of time this rocket.
Had not to guess it is an oxidize -- therefore it is almost by definition an ICBM.
Which suggests that mr.
Kim is building ICBM is not -- and design.
Satellite launching devices.
-- also general one other thing in my research that I found is they found some ties to did.
Construction to Iran -- like -- probably but all know how much concern.
Well this is a syndicate.
North Korea and Syria.
Other nations in the region like Pakistan have been involved in a rocket -- nuclear weapons -- syndicate now.
For almost twenty years we call that the a -- by Syria to build a nuclear reactor was designed and built by North Korea know this is truly an axis of evil.
That many other components are shared between these countries which -- in some ways.
Sort of explains why North Korea has been so successful recently in getting the technology up to snuff him.
General if Senator Kerry is confirmed as a secretary of state what kind of impact do you think he can have on both Syria and also North Korea and the threat they pose to us.
Very limited these both these countries are on automatic sadly the biggest threat to -- -- North Korea.
This is a threat not to the region but it's a threat to the United States remember mr.
Kim said that he was hoping to get the way to the for a weight of this -- up over 2000 pounds.
If you miniature -- -- nuclear weapon to federal top of an ICBM middle way about 2000 pounds held this is a real.
Threat to the western United States Guam Hawaii and Alaska and it's something that we in the United States need to start taking very very seriously it.
-- I hear the warning I hear the concern in your voice I'm also interested to ask you one other thing about Africa.
And the al-Qaeda threat that exists in many nations in that part of the world and the fact that the Pentagon is now taking a closer look at it.
Possibly even sending a brigade there to get -- troops up to snuff although that could be a real challenge.
Yeah well these are called originally -- brigades is in the second brigade of the first of -- division.
It's -- first in the step of of a series of initiatives the army is taking.
To avoid what happened to us in the early days of Iraq where we didn't have the cultural awareness and -- cultural knowledge is that we needed going into a counterinsurgency environment.
So this brigade is focused on Africa which as -- -- Jamie.
Is probably the next region to be influenced by al-Qaeda in places like the Sudan.
And the greatest political void.
Today at least.
The growing -- of the world sadly is in northern and Central Africa and quickly what is the second brigade offer that makes them the right.
Folks for this job.
That's a great question.
A lot of cultural training some language training the dividing the brigade did these little military training teams of 25 to thirty -- that will go into places in Africa where they can do things like.
Educate provide medical support.
Did -- provide clean water all of those not military things that will establish a mayor but nine.
American presence in Central Africa and try to perhaps prevent al-Qaeda from encroaching into these very very volatile regions it.
-- we really threw everything at you today general but when it comes to talking about stuff like this -- always learn so much from you in terms your military service your rock star thanks for being here and a Merry Christmas.
To you and your family at a Merry Christmas story young men and women in the all of them and their families thank you bet.