Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Congress during his confirmation hearing that he believed Russia had exported chemical weapons to Syria. If true, Russia would have violated its commitment as a signatory to the CWC.
The entire situation leaves many Syria watchers wondering, "What now?" The U.S. has drawn its much-touted "red line" over the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Upon completion of this process, it will have endorsed Assad as the authority in Syria with which it cooperates, and essentially sanctioned the use of all other weapons in that country.
"This is a temporary unsustainable situation," says Moore. "Whether it turns into a broader situation and a regional problem has nothing to do with chemical weapons."