There's no doubt Iraq hasn't fully complied with its disarmament obligations as set forth by the Security Council in its resolution. It constitutes bits and pieces of a weapons program which in its totality doesn't amount to much, but which is still prohibited We can't give Iraq a clean bill of health, therefore we can't close the book on their weapons of mass destruction. But simultaneously, we can't reasonably talk about Iraqi non-compliance as representing a de-facto retention of a prohibited capacity worthy of war.
Ritter also argued that the WMDs Saddam had in his possession all those years ago, if retained, would have long since turned to harmless substances. He stated that Iraqi Sarin and tabun have a shelf life of approximately five years, VX lasts a bit longer but not much longer , and finally he said botulinum toxin and liquid anthrax last about three years. He said that Security Council resolution authorised force against Iraq, which was suspended but not terminated by resolution , which imposed continuing obligations on Iraq to eliminate its weapons of mass destruction.
A material breach of resolution would revive the authority to use force under resolution In resolution the Security Council determined that Iraq was in material breach of resolution because it had not fully carried out its obligations to disarm. Although resolution had given Iraq a final chance to comply, UK Attorney General Goldsmith wrote "it is plain that Iraq has failed so to comply".
Most member governments of the United Nations Security Council made clear that after resolution there still was no authorization for the use of force. Indeed, at the time was passed, both the U. Ambassador John D. Negroponte was quoted as saying:. There's no "automaticity" and this is a two-stage process, and in that regard we have met the principal concerns that have been expressed for the resolution [ We heard loud and clear during the negotiations the concerns about "automaticity" and "hidden triggers" - the concern that on a decision so crucial we should not rush into military action; that on a decision so crucial any Iraqi violations should be discussed by the Council.
Let me be equally clear in response, as one of the co-sponsors of the text we have adopted: there is no "automaticity" in this Resolution. The UN itself never had the chance to declare that Iraq had failed to take its "final opportunity" to comply as the U. American President George W.
Bush stated that Saddam Hussein had 48 hours to step down and leave Iraq. On May 30, , Paul Wolfowitz stated in an interview with Vanity Fair magazine that the issue of weapons of mass destruction was the point of greatest agreement among Bush's team among the reasons to remove Saddam Hussein from power. He said, "The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U. One is weapons of mass destruction, the second is support for terrorism, the third is the criminal treatment of the Iraqi people. Actually I guess you could say there's a fourth overriding one which is the connection between the first two.
PRACTICE & POLICY NOTES
In , Scott Ritter , a former UNSCOM weapons inspector heavily criticized the Bush administration and media outlets for using the testimony of alleged former Iraqi nuclear scientist Khidir Hamza , who defected from Iraq in , as a rationale for invading Iraq:. We seized the entire records of the Iraqi Nuclear program, especially the administrative records.
We got a name of everybody, where they worked, what they did, and the top of the list, Saddam's "Bombmaker" [which was the title of Hamza's book, and earned the nickname afterwards] was a man named Jafar Dhia Jafar, not Khidir Hamza, and if you go down the list of the senior administrative personnel you will not find Hamza's name in there. In fact, we didn't find his name at all. Because in , he didn't work for the Iraqi nuclear program. He had no knowledge of it because he worked as a kickback specialist for Hussein Kamel in the Presidential Palace.
He goes into northern Iraq and meets up with Ahmad Chalabi.
Weapon of mass destruction
He walks in and says, I'm Saddam's "Bombmaker". So they call the CIA and they say, "We know who you are, you're not Saddam's 'Bombmaker', go sell your story to someone else. I got a problem with that, I got a problem with the American media, and I've told them over and over and over again that this man is a documentable fraud, a fake, and yet they allow him to go on CNN , MSNBC , CNBC , and testify as if he actually knows what he is talking about.
On June 4, , U. Senator Pat Roberts announced that the U. Select Committee on Intelligence that he chaired would, as a part of its ongoing oversight of the intelligence community, conduct a Review of intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Congress, that history would forgive the United States and United Kingdom, even if they were wrong about weapons of mass destruction. He still maintained that "with every fiber of instinct and conviction" Iraq did have weapons of mass destruction.
On February 3, , British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw announced an independent inquiry , to be chaired by Lord Butler of Brockwell , to examine the reliability of British intelligence relating to alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. One story in particular, written by Judith Miller , helped persuade the American public that Iraq had WMD: in September she wrote about an intercepted shipment of aluminum tubes which the NYT said were to be used to develop nuclear material.
Miller's sources were introduced to her by Ahmed Chalabi , an Iraqi exile favorable to a U. It appears that in the cases where Iraqi exiles were used for the stories about WMD were either ignorant as to the real status of Iraq's WMD or lied to journalists to achieve their own ends. But what wasn't wrong was Saddam Hussein had invaded a country, he had used weapons of mass destruction, he had the capability of making weapons of mass destruction, he was firing at our pilots. He was a state sponsor of terror. Removing Saddam Hussein was the right thing for world peace and the security of our country.
In a speech before the World Affairs Council of Charlotte, NC, on April 7, , President Bush stated that he "fully understood that the intelligence was wrong, and [he was] just as disappointed as everybody else" when U. Intelligence shortly before the invasion of Iraq was heavily used as support arguments in favor of military intervention, with the October C. There is little question that Saddam Hussein wants to develop nuclear weapons. Among the contentions he makes in his report are that the government "ordered the September Dossier , a British Government dossier on WMD to be sexed up , to be made more exciting, and ordered more facts to be On May 27, , a secret Defense Intelligence Agency fact-finding mission in Iraq reported unanimously to intelligence officials in Washington that two trailers captured in Iraq by Kurdish troops "had nothing to do with biological weapons.
We know what the fermenters look like.
Disarmament and Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction
We know what the tanks, pumps, compressors and other parts look like. The team of experts unanimously found "no connection to anything biological"; one of the experts told reporters that they privately called the trailers "the biggest sand toilets in the world. It is still classified, but a Washington Post report of April 12, disclosed some of the details of the report. According to the Post :. A spokesman for the DIA asserted that the team's findings were neither ignored nor suppressed, but were incorporated in the work of the Iraqi Survey Group, which led the official search for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
General Tommy Franks was quoted as saying: "I think no one in this country probably was more surprised than I when weapons of mass destruction were not used against our troops as they moved toward Baghdad. On February 6, , U. President George W. On May 30, , The U. Various nuclear facilities, including the Baghdad Nuclear Research Facility and Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Center, were found looted in the month following the invasion.
Gellman, May 3, On June 20, , the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that tons of uranium , as well as other radioactive materials such as thorium , had been recovered, and that the vast majority had remained on site. There were several reports of radiation sickness in the area. It has been suggested that the documents and suspected weapons sites were looted and burned in Iraq by looters in the final days of the war.
On September 30, , the U. Iraq Survey Group issued its Final Report. The report found that "The ISG has not found evidence that Saddam possessed WMD stocks in , but [there is] the possibility that some weapons existed in Iraq, although not of a militarily significant capability. Senate Armed Services Committee that the group found no evidence that Iraq under Saddam Hussein had produced and stockpiled any weapons of mass destruction since , when UN sanctions were imposed.
After he began cooperating with U.
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He said, "I had to maintain the program to the bitter end. However, it would require a massive investment and a re-creation of thousands of centrifuges in order to reconstitute a full centrifugal enrichment program. In a January 26, interview with Tom Brokaw of NBC news, Kay described Iraq's nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons programs as being in a "rudimentary" stage. He also stated that "What we did find, and as others are investigating it, we found a lot of terrorist groups and individuals that passed through Iraq.
Tom, an imminent threat is a political judgment. It's not a technical judgment. I think Baghdad was actually becoming more dangerous in the last two years than even we realized. Saddam was not controlling the society any longer. In the marketplace of terrorism and of WMD, Iraq well could have been that supplier if the war had not intervened. In June , the United States removed 2 tons of low-enriched uranium from Iraq, sufficient raw material for a single nuclear weapon.
Operation Iraqi Freedom documents refers to some 48, boxes of documents, audiotapes and videotapes that were captured by the U. Many of these documents seem to make clear that Saddam's regime had given up on seeking a WMD capability by the mids. Associated Press reported, "Repeatedly in the transcripts, Saddam and his lieutenants remind each other that Iraq destroyed its chemical and biological weapons in the early s, and shut down those programs and the nuclear-bomb program, which had never produced a weapon.
Don't think for a minute that we still have WMD. We have nothing. Congressman Peter Hoekstra called for the U. Since the invasion of Iraq, several reported finds of chemical weapons were announced, including half a dozen incidents during the invasion itself. In April , US Marines stumbled across a number of buildings which emitted unusual levels of radiation.
Upon close inspection the troops uncovered "many, many drums" containing low-grade uranium, also known as yellowcake. According to an expert familiar with UN nuclear inspections, US troops had arrived at the Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Center and the material under investigation had been documented, stored in sealed containers and subject to supervision by the International Atomic Energy Agency since A post-war case occurred on January 9, , when Icelandic munitions experts and Danish military engineers discovered 36 mm mortar rounds containing liquid buried in Southern Iraq.
While initial tests suggested that the rounds contained a blister agent , subsequent analysis by American and Danish experts showed that no chemical agent was present. On May 2, , a shell containing mustard gas was found in the middle of a street west of Baghdad. The Iraq Survey Group investigation reported that it had been previously "stored improperly", and thus the gas was "ineffective" as a useful chemical agent. Officials from the Defense Department commented that they were not certain if use was to be made of the device as a bomb.
On May 18 it was reported by U. Department of Defense intelligence officials that tests showed the two-chambered shell contained the chemical agent sarin , the shell being "likely" to have contained three to four liters of the substance in the form of its two unmixed precursor chemicals prior to the aforementioned explosion that had not effectively mixed them. Mark Kimmitt , and another U. In , hundreds of chemical warheads were recovered from the desert close to the Iran—Iraq border.
According to the Washington Post , the munitions "had been buried near the Iranian border, and then long forgotten, by Iraqi troops during their eight-year war with Iran". Officials did not consider the discovery as evidence of an ongoing weapons program that was believed to be in existence before the invasion began. The Iraqi government informed the United Nations in that insurgents affiliated with the Islamic State terror group had seized control of the Muthana State Establishment , including a chemical weapons depot northwest of Baghdad.
It housed some 2, sarin-filled rockets at the time of their departure in The U. It is unknown who the individual is who held possession of the weapons, and how they had come into possession. Nonetheless, they cooperated with U. As a result, the CIA and Army intelligence acquired over rockets, missiles, and other chemical weapons in varying states of operation.
The unnamed Iraqi individual periodically notified the CIA's Baghdad headquarters when they had additional weapons to sell. The sales varied in size, with the largest tradeoff being for separate rockets containing chemical agents.
Defence Export Controls
Chemical and demolitions experts then destroyed the weapons. Many of the weapons were badly degraded, and were empty or held nonlethal liquid, but some of the weapons analyzed indicated a concentration of nerve agents far higher than military intelligence had initially expected Iraq held the capabilities to formulate, with the highest "agent purity of up to 25 percent for recovered unitary sarin weapons", which was considered highly lethal and dangerous.
The mission resulted in the largest recovery of chemical weapons during the Iraq war. It was confirmed that these weapons were remnants of the Iraqi weapons program first developed during the Iran-Iraq war and confirmed that the Hussein government had failed to dismantle and dispose WMDs in its possession. The collaboration between American military intelligence and the unnamed Iraqi proprietor resulted in minimal attacks on U. The identity of the Iraqi seller was never ascertained, but there were several theories that he was an official of either the former or current Iraqi government, or perhaps a front for the Iraqi government.
The source never revealed where the supply originated from, although it is speculated they came from the city of Amarah , which was used as a forward base against Iranian forces during the s. Military intelligence experienced some difficulty during the mission. At least once the undisclosed seller attempted to sell weapons with fake chemical components. In addition, he once "called the intel guys to tell them he was going to turn [WMDs] over to the insurgents" unless he was paid immediately. Operation Avarice remained classified for security reasons until Zahner, the former highest-ranking army intelligence officer in Iraq, praised the operation for having "neutralized what could have become an arsenal used against the US and its allies".
During a House Armed Services Committee meeting convened to discuss the topic, the center's commander, Army Colonel John Chiu, elaborated that the munitions are "badly corroded in most cases [and] some were deliberately dismantled, if you will, to prevent them from being used. Chui agreed that the munitions met the technical definition of weapons of mass destruction. Kay said the chemical agent, though hazardous, is "less toxic than most things Americans have under their kitchen sink at this point".
But the ones which have been found are left over from the Iran-Iraq war. They are almost 20 years old, and they are in a decayed fashion. It is very interesting that there are so many that were unaccounted for, but they do not constitute a weapon of mass destruction, although they could be a local hazard. In September of the same year, the report of the Select Committee on Intelligence on Postwar Findings stated that such discoveries were consistent with the ISG assessment that "Iraq and Coalition Forces will continue to discover small numbers of degraded chemical weapons, which the former Regime mislaid or improperly destroyed prior to The ISG believes the bulk of these weapons were likely abandoned, forgotten and lost during the Iran-Iraq war because tens of thousands of CW munitions were forward deployed along the frequently and rapidly shifting battle front.
In October , the New York Times reported that the total number of munitions discovered since had climbed to 4,, and that U. Filthy, rusty or corroded, a large fraction of them could not be readily identified as chemical weapons at all. Some were empty, though many of them still contained potent mustard agent or residual sarin. Most could not have been used as designed, and when they ruptured dispersed the chemical agents over a limited area. According to the investigative report, "many chemical weapons incidents clustered around the ruins of the Muthanna State Establishment, the center of Iraqi chemical agent production in the s.
Iraq became a member state of the Chemical Weapons Convention in , declaring "two bunkers with filled and unfilled chemical weapons munitions, some precursors, as well as five former chemical weapons production facilities" according to OPCW Director General Rogelio Pfirter. The production facilities were "put out of commission" by airstrikes during the conflict, while United Nations personnel afterward secured the chemical munitions in the bunkers. Luhan stated at the time: "These are legacy weapons, remnants. The weapons were not believed to be in a usable state. The destruction of these remnants was completed in In a study published in ,  a group of researchers assessed the effects reports and retractions in the media had on people's memory regarding the search for WMD in Iraq during the Iraq War.
The study focused on populations in two coalition countries Australia and USA and one opposed to the war Germany. This led to three conclusions:.
A poll conducted between June and September asked people whether they thought evidence of WMD had been discovered in Iraq since the war ended. They were also asked which media sources they relied upon. Based on a series of polls taken from June—September From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Main article: Iraqi chemical weapons program. Main article: Gulf War. Apr 29, News Release. Oct 31, Report Alternative Paths to Korean Unification There are many ways in which Korean unification could occur or be attempted, and each holds vast uncertainties. Report The Korean Peninsula: Three Dangerous Scenarios An analysis of three potential security challenges on the Korean Peninsula points to rising threats that will pose significant demands on the U.
May 30, Feb 10, Mar 7, Commentary Russia on the Horns of a Nuclear Dilemma While the murder of Alexander Litvinenko is a human tragedy, broader concerns about the lowering of WMD norms and violations of international law should be addressed. Feb 19, Nov 21, Commentary N. WMDs Carry Catastrophic Potential The failure of the United States and South Korea to prevent North Korea from gaining significant quantities of weapons of mass destruction saddles those governments with serious military responsibilities, should North Korea go to war or should its government collapse.
Nov 19, Report Cruise Missile Penaid Nonproliferation: Hindering the Spread of Countermeasures Against Cruise Missile Defenses An attacker's missile-borne countermeasures to cruise missile defenses are known as penetration aids, or penaids. Oct 20, News Release Pentagon Should Elevate the Importance of Eliminating Weapons of Mass Destruction in Operational Planning Although the United States military has determined countering proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to be a strategic priority, policymakers have invested too little in the forces and capabilities needed to eliminate vulnerable arsenals.
Sep 24, Report Pentagon Should Elevate the Importance of Eliminating WMDs in Operational Planning Joint force commanders should carefully consider requirements for eliminating weapons of mass destruction in their contingency and operational planning. Research Brief Closing the Strategy-Policy Gap in Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Two presidents have declared counterproliferation of weapons of mass destruction WMD a top national priority, but it has not been budgeted or resourced as such. Report Penaid Nonproliferation: Hindering the Spread of Countermeasures Against Ballistic Missile Defenses An attacker's missile-borne countermeasures to ballistic missile defenses are known as penetration aids, or penaids.
Feb 26, Report Assessing the Effectiveness of the International Counterproliferation Program Addressing the threat of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction requires interagency and international cooperation. Sep 12, Jan 19, Report Developing Global Partnerships to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction This RAND National Defense Research Institute study outlines and then applies a four-step process for developing regional approaches to working with appropriate partner countries around the world in order to compensate for limited resources and knowledge in confronting weapons of mass destruction WMD threats.
For this reason there remains the potential for terrorist groups to cause mass casualties and disrupt a nation's or region's economy.
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