General Martin Dempsey, the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, warned that if Assad's government uses chemical weapons then the US military would be unable to stop it. He therefore stressed that the US must rely on deterrence and continue to work warning Syria that using them would be unacceptable.
"The act of preventing the use of chemical weapons would be almost unachievable," Dempsey told reporters. "You would have to have such clarity of intelligence, persistent surveillance; you'd have to actually see it before it happened. And that's unlikely, to be sure." (Yitzhak Benhorin, Washington)