I saw a lot of questions on how this might be accomplished in the comments during the Syria debate:
The United States and its partners are planning a series of rapid steps to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons program, a strategy that is intended to guard against backsliding by President Bashar al-Assad and limit the time that international experts need to work in the country, according to senior American officials.
A major step is to be taken in early November, when equipment for producing chemicals and filling warheads and bombs with poison gas is to be destroyed by the Syrians under international supervision. That move can be carried out by equipment as simple as sledgehammers and bulldozers.
The basic plan for eliminating Syria’s chemical weapons program was outlined last month in a framework agreement between American and Russian officials and has been refined in consultation with experts at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, an international watchdog group.
While the plan has been endorsed by the United Nations Security Council, its goal is unprecedented: the elimination of a nation’s chemical weapons, agents and equipment on an accelerated schedule in the middle of a civil war.
International inspectors who recently arrived in Syria have generally had good cooperation with the Assad government. Still, the disarmament effort will depend heavily on the cooperation of the Syrian military and on Russia’s willingness to use its leverage with the Syrian authorities.
The State Department official said that there were “good grounds” to think the target date for eliminating Syria’s chemical weapons program could be met. “We take nothing for granted,” he added. “It could go off the rails in many ways, but we are planning for success under both ideal and difficult circumstances.”