On Syria, Obama should test Putin now

Sorry, but I am not convinced. 

Assad is unlikely to give up his entire chemical weapon arsenal. Instead, what we are likely to see is a long, drawn out cat and mouse game between him and the West.

Why? in my opinion because:

1- As long as there is not a Chapter 7 UN Security Council Resolution which leaves a military response hanging over his head if he does not deliver, Assad is not going to take this agreement seriously.

2- He is unlikely to give up all of his chemical weapons because recent events have shown him that they are a useful bartering tool. He will always need to keep some hidden for the next crisis, so that he can barter it for something else. This time he bartered his chemical weapons arsenal in return for not being attacked, he could do it again next time for something else.

I appreciate that the US has its own considerations, but I think if president Obama is looking for a sustainable solution, he should make sure that this agreement is backed by a chapter 7 resolution. And if the Russians don’t play ball on this now, they are not going to play ball later when Assad has to deliver.

Better to test Putin now, rather than later.

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