Why Deterrence Failed to Prevent Syrian Use of WMD
November 13, 2014
When it comes to weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferation, it’s hard not to like deterrence as a concept: it’s much better to forestall WMD development than react to a fait accompli. Yet deterrence of WMD development and use is not simple. The Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians in 2012 and 2013 is widely considered a failure of deterrence. The lessons of Syria are not easy, clear, or likeable for those contemplating future efforts to deter WMD proliferation.