Fpr 3 Richardson 17 Dre.
That's apparently something of a concern now, as it has been reported based on American intelligence that Syria has moved chemical weapons.
There would be a variety of ways of coming to that conclusion, essentially either a human source regarded as credible, or some communications intercepts, imagery of some form, or other signatures (known as MASINT for materials and signature intelligence).
It's most likely the case that Syria has moved to secure chemical weapons from the opposition, since WMD is a valuable endgame asset in a civil war, although the move of chemical weapons to Homs, if correctly reported, would be serious in character potentially.
So too would any movements of chemical weapons on SCUD missiles, which points to two types of potential targets: internal and external.
As to internal targets, that chemical weapons have been reported as having been move could be a deliberate Syrian signal of resolve, also the case as to external audiences.
If you even move chemical weapons, deliberately not observing available security measures as to radio traffic for example, the message is sent that maybe the use of chemical weapons is coming on the table, which raises issues of deterrence.
Deterrence theory rests on some level of rationality as to actors, in the sense of not being suicidal in character, which is somewhat if not totally difficult in this case.
As to the difficulty, if a regime is falling whose members correctly fear for their lives, and look at all the carnage to see that reality, even before the potential backlash against tha Allawi sect is considered, then said memebers may not feel they have much to lose by either gassing their own citizens, or by gassing other countries perceived as allied to that oppositional element, e.g. Israel possibly, if Israel has been very quiet about Assad for understandable reasons of the SCUDs that have Sarin nerve gas (Tokyo subway but a lot better delivery systems, and probably VX gas (VX has a fifty per cent human lethal dosage of ten milligrams and because it is oily persists, making it the superior choice from the point of view of mass casualty and panic infliction).
As to deterrence, there are two sorts of theories, one inflicting pain by retalitation, the other by a plan to secure victory, if they blend somewhat in practice.
As to nuclear deterrence, one achieves that in the former retaliatory mode by credibly promising to deliver a bombardment that kills and destroys so much as to be insane to bring on deterrence.
With the latter theory of deterrence, known as warfighting, one constructs weapons and strategies to achieve military victory in some sense, which leads one to conider the Syrian case in more detail from the perspective of non-nuclear WMD deterrence.
America does not have the ability to retaliate with chemical weapons, since we destroyed our stockpile in Anniston, Alabama a year ago, at great expense.
Thus, in terms of deterrence and offensive retaliation, we can either threaten Assad, privately or not, that if he uses WMD in stated contingencies, he will face nuclear or conventional retaliation.
Large scale PGM strikes of the order of Shock and Awe in Iraq might well deter him, especially if it was understood that the bombardment would focus on him and those he cares about, and especially if coupled to an offer of exile and immunity, even in America.
We don't do that enough it has seemed to the author in the past, as in the end, if the killing stops on reasonable terms, is that not the main objective?
As to the defensive possibilities, the good news is that nerve gas has limits with a prepared target audience: atropine.
You don't have very long, but once symptoms are recognized, an "auto-injector" relieves the failure of central nervous system mechanisms that make for breathing, how one dies from nerve agents in general.
Making some auto-injectors available is one possible strategy therefore, although that comes with the real risk of encouraging people to go the distance instead of negotiate too.