Richmond, Kentucky is the last site in the U.S. to continue storing the type of chemical weapons allegedly used in Syria. The nerve agents Sarin and VX, banned worldwide, are housed at the Bluegrass Army Depot.
Considered two of the world's most deadly chemical warfare agents, the stockpile is on schedule to be destroyed by 2023.
One of the people overseeing the destruction is Craig Williams, the Chemical Weapons Project Director at the Kentucky Environmental Foundation. He spoke to WKU Public Radio about the weapons stored at the Bluegrass Army Depot.
Saturday, the U.S. and Russia announced an agreement on the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons. The country has a week to detail its chemical arsenal and has until the middle of 2014 to destroy its stockpile. The State Department has published a framework for the plan.
Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 12:06 pm
Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart have reached a deal that calls for Syria to destroy all of its chemical weapons. The plan, which Kerry announced in a news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva on Saturday, gives Syria a week to detail its chemical arsenal.
"The world will now expect the Assad regime to live up to its public commitments," Kerry said. "And as I said at the outset of these negotiations, there can be no games, no room for avoidance, or anything less than full compliance by the Assad regime."
Kentucky Republican Rand Paul is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and one of Congress' leading skeptics of U.S. military strategy, including possible strikes on Syria. On Tuesday, he offered a detailed response to President Obama's speech about the Syrian crisis. Paul joins Michel Martin of Tell Me More to talk about his opposition to military action, and what the U.S. should do.
Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 2:52 am
By scheduling his Syria address on Tuesday night, President Obama had initially intended to shape the course of events. Instead, events had already overtaken his speech.
He had planned to rally public support for military action against Syria, in hopes of winning over a reluctant Congress. As things turned out, he said Congress should postpone its voting — once expected to begin as early as Wednesday — to see whether a diplomatic deal could be worked out.
But Obama said he's keeping the military on alert, in case talks fall through.
President Obama is set to address the nation Tuesday evening about the ongoing conflict in Syria, and his efforts to get Congress to authorize a U.S. military strike following the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons.
WKU Public Radio will air NPR's live coverage of the President's speech, starting at 8 p.m central/ 9 eastern time.
You can also access our coverage through our online webstreaming, by clicking on the "Listen Live" button at the top of the page.
Speaking on the floor of the U.S. Senate Tuesday morning, Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell announced he will not support the President's call for a U.S. military strike on Syria.
The Louisville Republican said President Obama has not put forth a "credible strategy" regarding Syria. McConnell added that he doesn't think a "limited strike would resolve the civil war in Syria or remove Assad from power."
The Senate Minority Leader said while the chemical weapons attacks in Syria were horrible they did not pose a direct security threat to the U.S. or its allies.
Up until Tuesday, the leading Senate Republican had not committed to a position on the President's call for force against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. His fellow Kentucky Republican, Rand Paul of Bowling Green, has been an outspoken opponent of U.S. intervention.
McConnell expressed concern during his Senate floor speech about the possible unintended consequence of chemical weapons falling into the hands of Islamic extremists should the U.S. conduct the type of limited surgical military strike being proposed.
Kentucky's 2nd District Congressman, Brett Guthrie, has announced he will oppose the President's call for a U.S. military strike in Syria.
Here's what the Bowling Green Republican said in a news release about how he came to his decision:
"I appreciate Administration officials briefing the House on this very important situation. However, none of the information shared with me today has convinced me that military action is necessary or appropriate to further our national security interests in Syria and the surrounding region.
“There is no doubt that the Middle East is ripe with conflict and that the chemical weapons attack against the Syrian people on August 21 was horrific. But I do not believe that a bombing campaign against the Assad regime would be appropriate, and may even further enflame regional tensions. As the last remaining superpower, the United States should act as a role model for these troubled nations and look for further diplomatic solutions.
Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander says he will oppose a measure authorizing U.S. military force against Syria.
The Tennessee lawmaker said on Monday that a strike carries too much risk and could set off a series of events leading to greater U.S. involvement in another long-term Mideast war. He warned about the uncertainty in agreeing to President Barack Obama's request for military intervention after last month's deadly chemical weapons attack.
Alexander was announcing his position at a speech in Nashville. The Associated Press obtained excerpts of his remarks.
The senator has participated by telephone in briefings with senior administration officials and spoke this past weekend with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
Alexander's Tennessee colleague, Sen. Bob Corker, collaborated with Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez in writing the resolution authorizing U.S. force.