Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Syria Crisis Draws Media to Experts at Monterey Institute and Center for Nonproliferation Studies

Amy Smithson

Amy Smithson appeared on PBS Newshour discussing the situation in Syria on August 21, 2013.

September 11, 2013

The current, rapidly evolving Syria crisis has led U.S. and international news outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, National Public Radio, CNN, Al Jazeera and Reuters to seek comments from the world’s foremost experts in chemical weapons, threat reduction mechanisms and nonproliferation—many of them found at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) and its James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS). Below are some highlights of the many media appearances by MIIS and CNS experts over the last three days:

September 11

New York Times – “Chemical Disarmament Hard Even in Peacetime
Amy Smithson, Senior Fellow with CNS in Washington, D.C., and Raymond Zilinskas, MIIS professor and director of the Biological and Chemical Weapons Nonproliferation Program at CNS, are featured prominently in front page article about the challenge of monitoring and securing Assad’s chemical weapons arsenal.

Wall Street Journal – “Dismantling Weapons Poses Logistics, Security Challenges
Amy Smithson interviewed above the logistics of a diplomatic solution for Syria to surrender its chemical weapons.

Los Angeles Times – “Disarming Syria of Chemical Weapons Highly Complex, Experts Say
Raymond Zilinskas gives his expert opinion on the challenges of finding and dismantling Syria’s chemical weapons.

MSNBC – “The Cat-and-Mouse Game with Chemical Weapons
Assistant Professor and CNS Fellow Philipp Bleek assesses the issue for MSNBC.

CNN – “Syria’s Chemical Arsenal at a Glance
CNN quotes a CNS report about Syria’s chemical agent research, production and arsenal.

Al Jazeera – “Will Syria Give Up Its Chemical Weapons?
Amy Smithson interviewed by Al Jazeera.

ABC Australia – “Chemical Weapons Expert Urges International Community to Slow Down Negotiations with Syria"
Amy Smithson interviewed on camera on Australian broadcast television.

Reuters – “Syria's Chemical Weapons, Decades to Build, Years to Destroy"
Amy Smithson quoted in a very widely re-published Reuters news wire.

NPR – “The Cost of Dismantling Syria's Chemical Weapons”
Philipp Bleek interviewed by MarketPlace interviewed about the cost and logistics of dismantling Syria's chemical weapons.

September 10

National Public Radio - “Getting Rid of Syria’s Chemical Weapons Would Be Difficult
Robert Siegel spoke at length with Amy Smithson on the popular afternoon news magazine, All Things Considered.

KGO Radio – “Newstalk
CNS Deputy Director Jon Wolfsthal talks about the Syria crisis and the policy challenges facing President Obama ahead of his address to the nation on Tuesday.

International Business Times“Syria: Even if They Hand over Their Chemical Weapons Stockpile, Could They Still Make More as Assad Fights for His Life?”
Jon Wolfsthal tells the IBT that any agreement with Syria should be viewed skeptically, but that Assad could be deterred from using chemical weapons either for fear of violating agreement or US military action.

September 9

New York Times – “Unit Experienced in Chemical Weapon Destruction Stands Ready to Help
Raymond Zilinskas talks to the NY Times about the likely role of inspectors if parties agree on a plan to move forward.

Reuters – “Dismantling Syria Chemical Weapons Arsenal Would Be Tough Task
Amy Smithson talks about the experience of weapons inspectors in Iraq and Libya in relation to prospects in Syria in a Reuters news wire.

Los Angeles Times – “Obama Weighs Russia Proposal on Syria Chemical Arsenal
Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at CNS, was interviewed about the pros and cons of the Russian diplomatic initiative.

Christian Science Monitor – “Russia’s New Syria Plan Could Turn ‘Quagmire’ into an Easy Win
Jon Wolfsthal is quoted on the diplomatic proposal for Syria to put its chemical weapons under international control.