The Syrian nuclear program
The Danger Room has video describing the construction and destruction of a North Korean-designed Syrian nuclear reactor at Al Kibar. Readers should view it in its entirety. However, a number of unanswered questions suggest themselves.
First the Al Kibar reactor, unlike Iraq's Osirak, was designed to be covert from first to last. Did the IAEA at any time have any definite knowledge of Al Kibar? If it so, did the IAEA warn the United Nations about Syria's covert program? Second, if the Al Kibar was unknown to the UN, how much confidence should the world repose in is ability to detect covert nuclear weapons development?
Most importantly, what was the strategic objective of the Syrian plutonium reactor? Syria was obviously embarked upon a pure weapons program. The documentary is at pains to emphasize the facility had no conceivable industrial use. Therefore fissile material for its weapons was its ultimate reason for existence. To what end would these weapons be used? The significance of answering this question is that the Syrian strategic model would likely have been identical to the use intended by Saddam for Osirak's output -- and likely similar to that planned for Iran's nuclear weapons program.
A cursory take on Al Kibar is that it could only have hoped to produce a handful of nuclear weapons before discovery. Therefore it can be inferred that the WMD programs of Syria, Iran and Iraq's Osirak were premised upon the possession of a relatively few number of WMDs. Logic suggests then that they were constructing them as "insurance" weapons: deterrents against Western interference under whose protection they could advance their terrorist forces without hindrance. In other words, the implied doctrine of the WMD programs was that they were there to protect their terrorist strike arms.
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