Middlebury Institute professor of Nonproliferation offers lecture at Middlebury College
Middlebury Institute professor lectures on U.S. strategy and Syrian chemical weapons
As Syria descended into civil war in 2011-2012, what had once seemed unimaginable – that the regime might use that country’s chemical weapons (CW) against its own people – became a horrifying reality. Syria’s possession and eventual use of CW confronted the international community with a difficult challenge. The United States, sometimes working with France and the United Kingdom, responded by employing a strategy of coercion. U.S. coercive threats aimed both to deter chemical attacks and to compel the Syrian government to give up its chemical arsenal. This approach, initiated under President Obama, continued under President Trump, eventually led to two rounds of air strikes against Syria. This talk will assess the effectiveness (or lack of effectiveness) of these efforts and attempt to determine the lessons that should be learned for future policies that seek to deal with so-called weapons of mass destruction.
Jeff Knopf is a professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, where he serves as chair of the M.A. program in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies. He is also a research affiliate with the Institute’s Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) and with the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University.