Thursday, May 29, 2008

Behind the scenes

The Telegraph reports that someone's quest to acquire WMDs still goes on.

Equipment bound for Syria which could be used to test ballistic missile components was intercepted during a previously undisclosed mission, the United States has announced.

Four member states of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), a group of 90 countries who seek to prevent the shipment of weapons of mass destruction, were involved in the operation in February, 2007.

US national security adviser Stephen Hadley described the incident in a speech to members of the PSI, which the Bush administration has sought to portray as a significant success in its drive to prevent biological, chemical or nuclear terrorism.

Analysts say it is hard to judge the PSI's effectiveness because members are reluctant to disclose successes to avoid betraying sources that provide intelligence needed to stop shipments.

That delivery platform was going to be matched to something. Nobody acquires ballistic missiles to put popsicles on them. Maybe the something planned as a payload vanished in a desert raid on September, 2007.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- New commercial satellite images show a suspected Syrian nuclear reactor site has been wiped clean since it was bombed September 6 by Israeli aircraft. Analysts say the cleanup will hinder a proposed investigation by international nuclear inspectors and suggests Syria is trying to conceal evidence.

"It took down this facility so quickly it looks like they are trying to hide something," said David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, which analyzed the images.

The danger isn't over, and it won't be over for a long time. But we can make it through as long as we remember that the danger is there.





The Belmont Club is supported largely by donations from its readers.

17 Comments:

Blogger VinceP1974 said...

I hope they're looking at the jungles of Central and South America too. I wouldn't be surprised if they found a NORKian Nuclear facility down there

Plus i'm sure the reason hezebellah is down there is to position rockets/missiles.

If Condi Rice was incredulious about the the nuke plant in Syria, what's the odds they're even looking closer to home?

5/29/2008 04:32:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

The interception happened in February 2007. Israel took out the Syrian facility in September 2007. Interesting time lag. I wonder if Bush/Olmert were playing rock/paper/scissors to decide who would do the deed.

5/29/2008 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger Kim Lokken said...

A lesser light said, "The Telegraph reports that someone's quest to acquire WMDs still goes on. Equipment bound for Syria which could be used to test ballistic missile components was intercepted during a previously undisclosed mission, the United States has announced."

On the contrary, it is written, Noun 1. weapon of mass destruction - a weapon that kills or injures civilian as well as military personnel (nuclear and chemical and biological weapons)

I answer that ballistic missile components, as well as complete rounds, are not weapons of mass destruction per se.

Objection 1. Nobody acquires ballistic missiles to put popsicles on them.

The Germans used ballistic missiles called Vergeltungswaffe 2's in the War. These were very destructive, but they only carried chemical explosives, not nuclear. The development of similar weapons is not evidence of an NBC warfare program.

5/29/2008 06:29:00 AM  
Blogger Tamquam Leo Rugiens said...

kim lokken said: "I answer that ballistic missile components, as well as complete rounds, are not weapons of mass destruction per se."

Guns are not weapons because the don't kill people. Bullets do.

5/29/2008 07:16:00 AM  
Blogger jj mollo said...

I don't think the popsicles would survive the landing, but I like the idea. Maybe we could deliver a few to DinnerJacket's bedroom as a friendly gesture.

I'm trying to picture a cluster bomb filled with dixie cups. Surely we could use that for something.

5/29/2008 07:50:00 AM  
Blogger Nomenklatura said...

It's as though we were studying the 1920's and 1930's closely, and attempting to steer events directly towards a 'World War II all over again'.

5/29/2008 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Kim Lokken said:

"The Germans used ballistic missiles called Vergeltungswaffe 2's in the War. These were very destructive, but they only carried chemical explosives, not nuclear. The development of similar weapons is not evidence of an NBC warfare program."

The German V-2 (A-4) ballistic missile was a stupid weapon system because the cost of the missile to the Germans was typically greater than the economic damage it inflicted upon the target country. Ballistic missiles only make sense if someone puts a nuclear or nerve gas warhead on the end of it. The Nazis originally intended to put Sarin nerve gas warheads on their V-2s but didn't because the Allies would have retaliated with chemical weapons (also, Hitler had a deep dread towards chemical weapons because he almost died from them during WW-I).

The Iranians and Iraqis did shoot Scud missiles at each other during the Iran-Iraq War. However this was a tit-for-tat thing, where they were trying to terrorize each other's populations (it didn't make much military sense).

I find myself wondering:

"What's Syria's objective in this?"

I don't see them gaining any big military advantage in developing ballistic missiles (the Israelis would just bomb the crap out of them using aircraft).

I suspect the Syrians are acting as middlemen between the Iranians and the North Koreans.

5/29/2008 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Kim Lokken said...

Suspecting is one thing, and it's even a good thing, but its a far cry from saying that a newspaper is reporting that WMDs are being created, when they are only components for a delivery vehicle.

5/29/2008 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

...when they are only components for a delivery vehicle.

Can we assume that if someone is developing a delivery vehicle for nuclear weapons, eventually they may want to actually DELIVER those WMD's someplace?

In which case, your descriptive "only" is naive, denial, or just out and out stupid.

5/29/2008 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 05/29/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

5/29/2008 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Lokken - I answer that ballistic missile components, as well as complete rounds, are not weapons of mass destruction per se.

A pretty ignorant answer, given that the military utility of a low-weight warhead on a highly expensive missile makes sense only if the warhead is tipped with a WMD payload.

Just as a lawyer can argue that a rogue country or terrorist group secretly trying to buy fissile material is not "per se criminal evidentiary proof" that the fissile material was "clearly meant" for a nuke bomb.

5/29/2008 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Syria has imported Scuds from North Korea and reportedly has exported to the same country chemicals usable for manufacture of solid rocket motor propellant. A load of Scuds bound for Syria supposedly blew up on its train on the way to the Korean port a few years back. Hope that incident was an example of Your Tax Dollars at Work.

While at the Pentagon a request came across my desk to approve the sale of ballistic missile guidance components to Pakistan. They said the purpose was for use in sounding rockets. Trouble was, sounding rockets do not use those components. Oh, they could use them, but it would be like putting a radar transponder in a lawn mower: i.e, Why? I recommended against the sale.

Similarly, Brazil tried to buy some high pressure bottles for use in a space booster using various different approaches and I said they should be turned down each time. But a call to the bottle manufacturer revealed that the Brazilian airline had just bought some as replacements for the inflatable door slides on its aircraft.

It is very hard to stop this sort of thing. Even if you do it very well. Which we don't.

5/29/2008 06:40:00 PM  
Blogger Kim Lokken said...

Cedarford, that's a reasonable conclusion to draw from the story, but the way it is presented here, the Telegraph is portrayed drawing the connection to WMDs. Here's the text from the actual story:

"Equipment bound for Syria which could be used to test ballistic missile components was intercepted"

Well, the same equipment which COULD test the material in the nose of a ballistic missile for resistance to the heat of re-entry COULD also test the material in Syrian tank armor for resistance to the heat of a round of depleted uranium. But no, any attempt by the Syrians to protect themselves is bad because we don't like them.

5/29/2008 07:06:00 PM  
Blogger Zenster said...

Nomenklatura: It's as though we were studying the 1920's and 1930's closely, and attempting to steer events directly towards a 'World War II all over again'.

End of story. Right down to the coming holocaust. The only difference is that this time it won't be the Jews.

Kim Lokken: But no, any attempt by the Syrians to protect themselves is bad because we don't like them.

Priceless, effing priceless. I suggest that you read up on the concept of "dual-use" technology. RWE's previous post dealt with the topic explicitly.

By any chance are you an Obama campaign worker?

5/29/2008 09:49:00 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

As long as we're picking nits. Depleted uranium rounds defeat armour using kinetic, not chemical, energy. In other words you don't know what you are talking about.

5/30/2008 05:34:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I think that not only is Kim an Obama supporter, but that she/he/it is also a Somali immigrant who is active in the local chapter of CAIR.

5/30/2008 06:22:00 AM  
Blogger eggplant said...

RWE said:

"A load of Scuds bound for Syria supposedly blew up on its train on the way to the Korean port a few years back. Hope that incident was an example of Your Tax Dollars at Work."

That would be sweet. I hope it's true. If not, it should have been.

6/01/2008 02:47:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home


Powered by Blogger