Parsing the Turmoil in Syria and Libya

Like many around the world, we're heartened to see the people of Syria and Libya stand up and take back their political rights from dictatorial regimes. As the two nations reach for democracy, however, we can't lose sight of the fact that the they've both been stockpiling weapons of mass destruction for years.

This week, Ploughshares Fund's experts have been asked to weigh in on the current events in both nations, helping to explain what's happening and what the security consequences will be.

On CBS Morning News, Joel Rubin gives the latest on Libya.

Libya's weapons are nothing next to Syria's. There are very few nations left who maintain chemical weapons. Syria never signed onto the international agreements banning their use and maintains one of the last large stockpiles.

On Wolf Blitzer this week, Joe Cirincione predicts:

"It's the chaos of the current situation that presents a threat, not the fear that Assad himself would actually use these weapons, even under the most dire circumstances."

Both crises underscore the need for international agreements to control and eliminate chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. It also demonstrates the need for the U.S. leadership to further regional cooperative efforts that help secure these weapons before governments fall into chaos. 

Photo by wstera2