It’s Time to Revisit Iraq as Syria Offers Up Its Chemical Weapons Arsenal

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TV/Radio Broadcast PRI’s The World
If the Syrian regime has decided it is going to give up its chemical weapons, the international community might want to revisit what happened to the chemical weapons stockpiles in Iraq after the 1991 conflict.
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Speaking to PRI's The World, Carnegie's Paul Schulte explained that if the Syrian regime has decided to give up its chemical weapons, the international community might want to revisit what happened to the chemical weapons stockpiles in Iraq after the 1991 conflict.

"The Iraqis admitted they had very large amounts of chemical weapons and they pointed out where they were, and the UN team destroyed them," Schulte said, adding "they did it quickly, not very quickly; they did it over several periods over several months, but they did it efficiently with a rather small team."

Schulte suggested that this could serve as a model in Syria. The inspectors would have to check the information they receive against the information intelligence services know. But, Schulte pointed out, "it's very difficult to prove a negative so you would have to rely on your general impression of Syrian truthfulness."

Schulte also mentioned the difficulty of carrying out a mission of this nature and protecting the inspectors in the middle of a civil war. "Who's going to do it? Should it be the Syrian army? Can you trust them to take things away? What happens if they come under fire from the rebels, including rebels who may want to seize stuff themselves?"

This interview was originally broadcast on PRI's The World.

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Syria in Crisis

In Fact



of Brazilian protesters

learned about a massive rally via Facebook or Twitter.


million cases pending

in India’s judicial system.

1 in 3


now needs urgent assistance.


political parties

contested India’s last national elections.


of Egypt's labor force

works in the private sector.


years ago

Carnegie began an internship program. Notable alumni include Samantha Power.


of oil consumed in the United States

is for the transportation sector.


of Chechnya’s pre-1994 population

has fled to different parts of the world.


of oil consumed in China

was from foreign sources in 2012.


of Syria’s population

is expected to be displaced by the end of 2013.


million people killed

in Cold War conflicts.


of the U.S. economy

is consumed by healthcare.


billion in goods and services

traded between the United States and China in 2012.


billion in foreign investment and oil revenue

have been lost by Iran because of its nuclear program.


increase in China’s GDP per capita

between 1972 and today.


billion have been spent

to complete the Bushehr nuclear reactor in Iran.


of Iran’s electricity needs

is all the Bushehr nuclear reactor provides.


new airports

are set to be built in China by 2015.



were imprisoned in Turkey as of August 2012 according to the OSCE.


of the world's population

will reside in cities by 2050.


million Russian citizens

are considered “ethnic Muslims.”

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