What will stop Saddam from giving WMD to terrorists in the next two days?

As I have explained many time in different threads Saddam becomes much more likely to work with terrorists when he has nothing to lose and knows that US is certain to attack. We have reached that point now. Saddam knows that whatever he does the US will invade. There is no deterrence now.

At the same time the US has given him a two day period when there is no war. So what’s going to stop him from transferring some of his WMD to terrorists in order to inflict maximum revenge on the US? Iraqi agents are probably right now moving out of Iraq with anthrax, nerve agents and botulinium to be transferred to terrorists who will then try to use them on US civilians.

This underlines the perversity of this war: it makes more likely what it is supposed to prevent.

Isn’t there 250K of armed units with all sorts of gadgetry to monitor all the comins’ and goins’ across the Iraqi border? Don’t you think that our perimeter of force is looking for just those things that you mentioned? It would even be a greater prize to capture an al-queda operative with such material inside Iraq’s borders, and I think that our guys will be looking quite diligently, especially those materials labeled “Produit de Francais”…

Just a hunch…

The 250 k soldiers in Kuwait. How exactly will they monitor the Iraq-Iran border or the Iraq-Syria border? The short answer is they can’t, in any serious fashion. Let me remind you that even with Pakistani co-operation the US couldn’t prevent OBL from slipping across the border.

Even after the war begins the US can’t really prevent Iraqis from slipping out with any certainty. But in the next couple of days it’s pretty much impossible.

But Osama isn’t dragging around barrels of gas or suitcases of radioactive material with him…he kinda left in a hurry and had to pack lightly. Most of the material is large and detectable…fleeing Iraqis will have neccessities with them, not barrels…

Biological weapons and chemical weapons are neither heavy nor do they occupy much space. Each person could easily carry enough to kill thousands of people probably more. Besides, like I said, the borders aren’t even being patrolled by a friendly government or US troops like in Afghanistan. So it’s much easier to use slip across.

Please explain how troops in Kuwait are helping to patrol hundreds of miles of Iraqi borders with Iran and Syria.

And of course the big difference between Afghanistan at the time OBL fled was that the Taliban had lost control of the country by then and US and Northern Alliance troops could move freely.

In Iraq at least for the next two days the Iraqi regime still controls central Iraq which makes it much easier for its agents to slip out.

The bottom line is that the US had HUGE advantages in Afghanistan and still couldn’t prevent OBL from escaping. There is next to no chance of the US preventing Iraqi agents from escaping before a war starts and a small chance even afterwards.

I’m sure a million terrorists with anthrax stuffed in their suitcases are making the exodus now.:rolleyes:

Deterance would only apply anyway if Iraq knew the U.S. could trace it back to them. So, it doesn’t matter either way really.

“I’m sure a million terrorists with anthrax stuffed in their suitcases are making the exodus now.”
A ridiculous straw man. The whole point is WMD is that small quantities of weapons which don’t weigh much can kill huge numbers of people. So a small number of agents could carry enough to kill hundreds of thousands of people.

“Deterance would only apply anyway if Iraq knew the U.S. could trace it back to them.”
No, deterrence works as long as there is a reasonable probability that the US eventually finds out and retaliates. Given its intelligence capabilites the US is capable of doing this and Iraq knows this.

If deterrence wasn’t working how come Saddam has never used bio/chem weapons against the US by now?

In your OP, you stated about the transfer of WMD, and you made it sound like large amounts are going to shipped off, and now your talking about small quanties that can be hand-carried. How many AQ agents are in Iraq to take any quantities of bio/chem/radio out of Iraq in the first place? Are neighboring countries willing to tolerate these guys in their country with the junk their carrying?

I’ll concede that some small quantities can get out of Iraq, but I think Saddam just won’t pass the bio/chem/radio out like ice cream cones out of his truck…he thinks he’ll be able to repel us and keep his WMD and save it for another day, just like he did before.

“I’ll concede that some small quantities can get out of Iraq…”
Once again the whole point of WMD is that small quantities can kill hundreds of thousands of people. For instance you just need 0.5 milligrams of Sarin to kill a person. So one kilo is enough to kill two million theoretically. Even if in practice it’s much less efficient, a few kilos can kill huge numbers of people.

This is even more the case if you are talking about an infectious disease. So a small number of agents with or without vehicles could supply terrorists weapons which could kill huge numbers of people. And now that Saddam knows he has nothing to lose he is much more likely to throw caution to the winds and give terrorists WMD.

Gotta consider motivations. Saddam’s only one seems to be keeping power for himself, not destroying external enemies as such unless they threaten that power. There’s no plausible basis for believing he gives a flying fuck about fundamentalist Muslim terror groups, is there? If there were, why isn’t there any plausible connection yet shown after the monotonically-repeated 12 years?

So why would he give away the only effective weapons he has (if he has them in dangerous amounts, that is, which is not demonstrated) instead of using them himself?

We don’t help ourselves by imagining bugbears.

Perhaps because he feared that they would be traced back to him, giving the UN justification to overthrow his regime. In other words, because it would lead to him being removed from power.

Now that he will be removed from power, that particular threat is meaningless.

I believe the threat that CyberPundit relates is indeed quite real. In fact, if it weren’t real, we really have no justification for invading.

Exactly. Before, he was worried about possible US retaliation. Now the US is going to attack anyway and he has nothing to lose.

Also he doesn’t have to give all his weapons to terrorists. If he does indeed have bio/chem weapons in large quantities only a small fraction of them could kill a large number of people if handed to terrorists.

Why would he hand them to terrorists? Why would he even care what’s done with them after he’s removed?

I say he may try to use them himself in the coming war (and may not, counting on international pressure to weaken the US, or he simply may not have accessible (ie not buried under tons of sand) weapons in effective quantities). He also may stockpile them for later use in the forlorn hope that he’ll win. I really don’t think he cares if someone else spreads anthrax in Tel Aviv while he’s rotting in a cell and US troops occupy his former palaces.

Saddam wants to rule Iraq (and whatever else he can concievably take) with absolute power. Saddam is not a martyr.

“Why would he hand them to terrorists? Why would he even care what’s done with them after he’s removed?”
One word: revenge. If he knows that his regime is most likely going to be destroyed by the US it’s easy to see him wanting to inflict as much pain on his enemy as he can. Supplying weapons to terrorists is one way of doing this.

But using them himself is a more effective way.

There is no reason he can’t do both. He can give some of his weapons to terrorists and use some directly. He will spread his eggs so that maximum damage is inflicted.

US troops are hard targets who are likely well protected from bio/chem weapons. The civilians who the terrorists will target are much softer targets.

I don’t think Saddam will give his weapons to terrorists. He may give them to his own trusted agents, but I don’t think he’ll be in a position to execute any effective plan before he is removed from the capacity to make plans of any nature.

There is the obvious possibility of using chemical/biological weapons on US troops, but as is pointed out, they’re “hard targets”, unlikely to be targetted.

I remain of the opinion that the loss of central control of these weapons upon war’s end is the most dangerous prospect for them–nearly the last place we want to find them is on the black market. (The last place, of course, being in the sky above…)

I agree that loss of central control is a huge problem. The only thing worse than Saddam controlling those weapons is no one controlling those weapons. Since the US probably doesn’t know where these weapons are there will be a gap between the fall of the regime and the time the US manages to hunt them down. In that period they are likely to be stolen or sold and fall into the hands of terrorists.
“but I don’t think he’ll be in a position to execute any effective plan before he is removed from the capacity to make plans of any nature.”
He has had a lot of time to make plans and he now has two days without war to send his trusted agents out of the country. It only takes a few hours in the middle of the night to slip out. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few haven’t left Iraq already with WMD to be later transferred to terrorists.

Possibly, and I certainly wouldn’t ignore that as a scenario. However, allow me to reiterate: “I don’t think he’ll be in a position to execute any effective plan.” At this point, I’m wagering he’s going to be pretty heavily saturated with a defensive psychological mode, and to think offensively at the same time with enough vision to get something horrible past all the eyes that are glaring at him would take a great deal of skill and control.

More likely than not, he won’t have that. Indeed, the structure of his government is such that it seeks to destroy most of the sharp leaders who would be able to act flexibly and independently. Granted, he’s had a fair amount of time to get ready, but I seriously doubt that the people Saddam would give any such plan to would actually be able to carry it off.

Yes, I could be wrong.