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Cruise missiles unlikely to deter Syrian regime, analysts say

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Kristina Wong
The Washington Times
September 3, 2013

The Pentagon’s most likely means of attacking Syria will not degrade or deter the regime’s use of chemical weapons, and could drag the U.S. more deeply into Syria’s civil war, retired military officers and analysts say.

Five Navy destroyers armed with about 200 Tomahawk cruise missiles are deployed in the eastern Mediterranean Sea in anticipation of a limited attack on Syrian military sites. Obama administration officials have said the attack’s goal would be to punish the Syrian regime for the Aug. 21 chemical attack on civilians, not to topple President Bashar Assad.

Most cruise missiles have no “bunker busting” capabilities and are less effective against mobile targets, military analysts note. And Pentagon officials have said that chemical weapons stockpiles would not be targeted to avoid the inadvertent release of poisonous gas.

Retired Air ForceLt. Gen. David A. Deptula, who planned the air attack phase of 1991’s Desert Storm operation against Iraq, noted the limited sites in Syria that could be targeted effectively by cruise missiles.

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This article was posted: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 10:31 am

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