Dear Members and Friends,
As Syria moved its chemical weapons around the country, as the rebels were taking bases, fears brought on the use of these chemical weapons by either the rebels or President Assad against Syria’s own people while others outside of Syria were brought to bear throughout the attention of the world.
Syrian chemical weapons are stored in key places in Syria by the military to be used predominately in bombs dropped by their aircrafts and on payloads of their scud missiles.
A “red line” not to be crossed by the Syrian government, in regards to the use of chemical weapons, was put forth by President Obama, “The use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable. And if you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons, there will be consequences and you will be held responsible.”
This week it appears that the movement of the chemical weapons has stopped in Syria as the Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta stated “We haven’t seen anything new indicating any aggressive steps to move forward in that way, but we continue to monitor it very closely.”
The country of Israel, which shares a border with southern Syria, put its Patriot-2 Batteries on alert for air defense against potential chemical weapons released from Syria.
The country of Turkey invoked Article Four of the North Atlantic Treaty to request that NATO air and missile defense capabilities be deployed along their border with Syria. The NATO members; United States, Germany and the Netherlands, are committing a country rotation of Patriot air and missile defense batteries to be deployed in protection and defense of Turkey against chemical weapons from Syria.
The U.S. rotation of a Patriot battery with Germany and the Netherlands will most likely come from the U.S. Base in Kaiserslautern, Germany, where the 10th AAMDC is located for the air and missile defense of the U.S. European Combatant Commander and Allied Supreme Commander.
The 10th AAMDC also supports the defense of Israel and has just gotten back with three of its four Patriot batteries from a successful integrated exercise, the Austere Challenge 12, in Israel. This same command has rotated one of its four firing Patriot batteries to Poland on a regular basis for training over the past few years.
It is important to understand how valuable Patriot air and missile defense systems are in today’s world against chemical weapons and the outstanding need for them by our allies. It is there for protection and defense while offering stability and assurance to the populations should that “red line” be crossed by a loss of control of those chemical weapons to the rebels or if President Assad believes he has nothing to lose.
There is no question that our world needs more missile and air defense capabilities and more of these Patriot systems.
It is also very welcoming to see Germany, the Netherlands, and Israel along with the United States fielding these systems.