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Disarmament Diplomacy No. 75, Cover design by Paul Aston

Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 75, January/February 2004

Enforcing WMD Treaties:
Consolidating a UN Role

Barbara Hatch Rosenberg

Viewed in February 2004, the measures employed by the United Nations Security Council to eliminate weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and prevent their further development and production in Iraq were a remarkable success. If the Security Council is to regain the confidence of world opinion by demonstrating its ability to deal effectively with the most difficult issues, as UN Secretary General Kofi Annan urged1 in September, then a consolidation of the Council's tools for enforcing nonproliferation is now in order.

With the exception of international sanctions, the complex of measures used in Iraq - on-site inspections, destruction of banned items, monitoring of dual-use activities, procurement investigations, and the export/import control mechanism - were delegated to an ad hoc subsidiary body of the Security Council, the UN Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM), which was succeeded some years later by the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC). Diplomats from around the world are increasingly recognising that UNMOVIC's approach, capabilities and expertise constitute a valuable asset that ought not to be lost by the international community.

The Need for a Permanent Body

A permanent body of experts on WMD and missiles, readily available to the Security Council for technical advice and rapid action at its discretion, would enhance the Council's policy options and its ability to manoeuvre. Together with political pressure, the existence and reputation alone of such a body would have a deterrent effect on proliferation. Beyond the treaties that outlaw WMD, we urgently need additional measures that can be effective in the current international climate, in which adaptability, multilateral backing and the imprimatur of the big powers are essential.2 It may even prove easier to resolve some uncertainties outside the context of treaty violation.

Furthermore, although there are standing international inspectorates for chemical and nuclear weapons, there are none for biological weapons or missiles. The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC) does, however, permit any state party to ask the UN Security Council to consider an alleged breach of the Convention, and requires states parties to cooperate with any investigation the Security Council may initiate. Although the UN General Assembly has given the Secretary General authority to launch biological (and chemical) weapons investigations,3 he is limited to investigating alleged use; and in the absence of a standing inspectorate he would have to rely on hastily-assembled ad hoc inspectors contributed by member states, with miscellaneous levels of training and no teamwork experience. Delays, clumsiness and suspicions of bias would be difficult to avoid.

Rather than waiting for the next crisis before acting, the Security Council should establish a permanent commission, based on careful analysis of the UNSCOM/UNMOVIC experience. This needs to be agreed before their expertise and institutional memory are dispersed and lost. Not to do so would ensure a wasteful expenditure of time, money and political effort and the possible loss of enforcement opportunity at some future time.

The Security Council has expressed its intention to revisit UNMOVIC's mandate (Resolution 1483, May 2003). France and Sweden, later joined by the United Kingdom and supported by a number of other countries,4 have taken the lead in behind-the-scenes advocacy for a permanent nonproliferation commission. Papers on the subject were circulated last year among parties to the BWC by the Scientists Working Group on Biological and Chemical Weapons.5 The Carnegie Endowment's new report, "WMD in Iraq: Evidence and Implications," recommends that the Security Council conduct a study and consider creating a permanent capability.6 No overt action has yet been taken because the United States declines to discuss the subject before the US search for WMD is completed.7 In spite of US distaste for UNMOVIC, it increasingly appears that sharing the responsibility and costs for future investigations would be in the US interest.

The Effectiveness of Security Council Measures in Iraq

Following the 1990-1 war with Iraq and the discovery of Saddam Hussein's substantial nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programmes, the UN Security Council imposed two principal kinds of measures to foster disarmament: inspections and sanctions. UNSCOM and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) uncovered and destroyed weapons programmes in Iraq that extended well beyond the prior suspicions of outside intelligence agencies.8 Compounded by Iraq's intransigence, questions lingered as to whether or not undiscovered weapons or programmes remained. Especially after the UN inspectors were withdrawn in 1998, there were concerns that, despite the continuing sanctions regime, Iraq could have undertaken to reconstruct some of its WMD programmes.

Several months before the March, 2003 invasion of Iraq, most observers believed that Iraq had something to hide. However, when the IAEA and UNMOVIC were dispatched by the Security Council to Iraq in November 2002 for a new round of inspections, they were unable to find any convincing evidence for WMD in approximately 1000 inspections conducted before the teams were prematurely pulled out after three months.9

During and following the war in 2003, four US teams have searched Iraq for the weapons that were confidently expected to be there: first, Task Force 20, a pre-invasion covert team; then, the Site Survey Teams that accompanied the invading forces, and the 75th Exploitation Task Force, a large, rear-echelon operation; and, finally, the Iraq Survey Group (ISG), with 1400 specialists and high-tech backup. The ISG issued a three-month interim progress report on October 2, 2003.10 In Congressional testimony the next day, US Chief Inspector David Kay stated that "we have not yet found stocks of weapons" of mass destruction of any kind.11

Although biological weapons (BW) were a major initial focus of the ISG, they found only some weak evidence of biological research that might have been intended for maintaining expertise that could be used in the future to revive a BW programme. Doubt has been cast by government experts on even that evidence, because the agents involved are not good BW candidates and some are related to endemic problems in Iraq that need to be studied for public health reasons.12 Senior Iraqi officials have told investigators that the BW programme was dropped.13

As for chemical weapons (CW), the ISG reported obtaining multiple evidence that Iraq's CW capacity was, in the words of David Kay, "reduced - if not entirely destroyed - during Operations Desert Storm and Desert Fox and 13 years of UN sanctions and UN inspections."14 The ISG reported finding no evidence for any significant steps to produce nuclear weapons or fissile materials after 1991. In UNMOVIC's Fifteenth Quarterly Report of 26 November, 2003, Demetrius Perricos, Acting Executive Chair of UNMOVIC, wrote that "most of the [ISG] findings...relate to complex subjects familiar to UNMOVIC."

Chief Inspector David Kay resigned on January 23, 2004. In a television interview several days later he said "we expected to find large stocks of chemical and biological agents, weaponised, ready for use on the battlefield...We did not find that."15

On January 7, 2004, the Washington Post reported the discovery of a handwritten letter written by the head of Iraq's Monitoring Directorate to Saddam Hussein's son Qusay.16 Believed to be authentic by experienced US and European government investigators and knowledgeable Iraqis, this letter is dated just after the defection of Saddam's son-in-law Hussein Kamel in 1995, and warns that Kamel might reveal the weapons activities that had been concealed from UN inspectors. All the concealed projects are listed. The letter also reminded Qusay that, contrary to the official Iraqi claim that it had no BW after 1990, Kamel knew that the entire inventory of BW was actually destroyed in the summer of 1991.

Between 1995 and 1998, every item listed in the letter was found by UNSCOM and destroyed.17 The letter provides assurance that there were no remaining Iraqi mass destruction weapons, facilities or programmes that were unknown to UNSCOM and the IAEA when they left in 1998. According to both the Post article and David Kay,18 external sanctions and internal strife and corruption prevented Iraq from reconstituting its WMD programmes to any significant extent in the interim between UNSCOM's departure and UNMOVIC's arrival in late 2002.19 Aside from a still-modest missile programme and the WMD knowledge base, there was nothing left to find.

UNMOVIC and IAEA inspectors recognised this fact quickly during their 2002-3 investigations. They found Iraq's site declarations for the period 1998-2002 to be accurate and much of the equipment in disrepair, unusable even for legitimate purposes. Earlier research programs had been cut back or abandoned. Nothing was found at suspected sites, including those identified by outside intelligence sources, cited in British documents or mentioned by US Secretary of State Colin Powell before the Security Council in February, 2003. To the inspectors, some of whom had been in Iraq before 1998, it was evident that Iraq no longer had the resources to pursue WMD.

UNMOVIC's findings, together with those of the ISG, clearly indicate that the Security Council's inspections and sanctions regime had been remarkably effective. This conclusion is also drawn by the Carnegie Endowment in the most comprehensive analysis to date of the Iraqi WMD question.20 In addition to discovering and destroying weapons, weapons agents and production facilities and monitoring dual-capability operations, UNSCOM had also uncovered covert transactions with hundreds of foreign companies and established a mechanism to track and block banned exports and imports - all despite unrelenting obstruction by the Iraqi government. As the Carnegie Report noted, these actions appear to have been considerably more effective than was previously thought. Dr Kay has spoken similarly of the international sanctions regime: "We have been struck in probably 300 interviews with Iraqi scientists, engineers and senior officials how often they refer to the impact of sanctions and the perceived impact of sanctions in terms of regime behaviour. So it may well be necessary to reassess what a lot of us thought was the impact - and quite frankly thought was the eroding impact - of sanctions over the years."21 These conclusions about the effectiveness of the Security Council's Iraq strategy are shared by many others.22

We now know that the UN inspections have been the only reliable source of intelligence about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. The inspections not only produced valuable information directly; they also induced Iraqi movements to evade the inspectors, which could be monitored by national technical means. So could the inspectors' activities. In addition to the publicly-available Quarterly Reports to the Security Council, there were closed Security Council sessions for questioning and private bilateral discussions with the Chair. According to a detailed article in The New York Times, intelligence and other officials they interviewed described the CIA and the White House as essentially blinded after the UNSCOM inspectors were withdrawn in 1998. "Once the inspectors were gone it was like losing your GPS guidance" said one official. "We had to go back to what we knew in '98" and extrapolate from evidence that was five years old or more. The Times' analysis concludes that, "in hindsight, it is now clear just how dependent American intelligence agencies were on the United Nations weapons inspections process."23

Designing a Permanent Inspection, Monitoring and Verification Commission

Just as UNMOVIC's organisation and modus operandi benefited in effectiveness and professionalism from the experience of its predecessor (discussed below), establishment of a new, permanent commission should be based upon a thorough study of preceding and current entities, including the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the IAEA and other operative monitoring or verification mechanisms of arms treaties and control regimes, as well as the various bodies that have investigated WMD in Iraq. The relative roles and values of the various control mechanisms employed by the Security Council in Iraq also need further study to determine whether they could be improved. Officials who implemented them insist that inspections, monitoring mechanisms, data analysis, sanctions, etc. are linked elements in a complex strategy that cannot be separated without loss of valuable feedback.

The Carnegie Report calls for a follow-up study of the inspection process, including its human resources, access to technology, access to nationally held intelligence, vulnerability to penetration, and contributions to national intelligence agencies.24 The UNMOVIC College of Commissioners has for some time been discussing the need for a study of the UN strategy in Iraq, and has undoubtedly communicated its ideas to the UN Secretary-General.

Before the establishment of UNMOVIC, UNSCOM's performance and accomplishments were reviewed by a panel, chaired by Ambassador Celso Amorim, now the Foreign Minister of Brazil. The panel reported to the Security Council in March 1999 on its recommendations for establishing a new regime for disarmament, ongoing monitoring and verification in Iraq.25 Considering that these three functions require similar expertise, they proposed an integrated approach, stressing the importance of synergies and cross-fertilisation.

Whereas each individual inspection or monitoring mission under UNSCOM was conducted by a separate, short-tenured team and chief inspector, reporting only to the Executive Chair, UNMOVIC was to have a single, resident team of biological, chemical, missile and multidisciplinary experts with extended tenure, conducting all activities. A permanent chief inspector for each discipline was to receive all mission reports (in practice, these have also been provided to all team members to ensure that any errors are corrected before the reports reach the Executive Chair). This time, on-site inspections were to be performed with full access and no advance notice, with the right to conduct aerial surveillance, interviews, sample analysis and evaluation of documentation while still on site and to install monitoring equipment. Access to independent overhead imagery data was considered important. The report also recommended that the Security Council should review the Secretary-General's appointments to the College of Commissioners, and that the Commissioners should play a stronger role in advising the Security Council as well as the Commission's Executive Chair.

The Amorim recommendations were incorporated in the plan drawn up by UNMOVIC's Executive Chair, Hans Blix, in 2000.26 This provided for UNMOVIC to have in-house aircraft, aerial surveillance and analytical laboratory facilities as well as joint operation with the IAEA of end-use monitoring of dual-use imports, searches for undeclared imported notifiable items, and verification of information on identified sales of proscribed items. A closer relationship among the Executive Chair, the Commissioners and the Security Council was prescribed. The staff must have UN contracts, making them subject to Article 100 of the UN Charter prohibiting the receipt of instructions from any government and forbidding attempts by governments to influence the staff. Staff training must provide an understanding of national and commercial sensitivities and the handling of adversarial situations.

Under UNMOVIC, all potential inspectors undergo extensive basic and specialised training, including practical exercises and real field experience in inspection techniques and the recognition of relevant equipment, materials, sites and agents as well as information management, report writing, and historical, legal and cultural matters.

Unlike UNSCOM, UNMOVIC hires and pays its inspectors and is able to select well-qualified individuals with ongoing experience in their fields. This, together with the extensive and periodically-renewed training given to inspectors before deployment, makes them better prepared and more efficient than the investigation teams that followed UNMOVIC in Iraq. The UNMOVIC example gives confidence that a permanent standing inspectorate, similarly staffed, could preserve its effectiveness even if it were not frequently called upon to act.

Following the integrated approach recommended in the Amorim Report, UNMOVIC inspectors carry out multiple functions. They may be assigned to planning and operation, or to analysis and assessment, but they frequently alternate between them. They also conduct the training of future inspectors. Inspectors are organised in units on the basis of discipline: biological, chemical, missile and a new, multidisciplinary unit27 for inspecting sites such as munitions depots, import-export agencies, warehouses, office buildings and other incompletely characterised sites. The multidisciplinary unit is prepared for tasks such as examining munitions with unknown fills and inspecting facilities manufacturing dual-use biological or chemical equipment. In the field, each unit sends separate teams on specific assignments, but the teams frequently contain members borrowed from other units. Mixed teams have sometimes made unanticipated discoveries.

At its peak, UNMOVIC had about 120 inspectors and 65 support staff, drawn from about 60 countries, in the field and in New York at its UN headquarters.28 It now has about 25 inspectors, who can be fielded with 24 hours notice, and 35 support staff. It has on call a roster of about 370 trained inspectors and technical experts, who can be mobilised within 1-2 weeks. The inspectors, with backgrounds covering defence, academia and industry, have a broad spectrum of expertise; biological inspectors, for example, have experience in microbiology, toxicology, biochemistry, molecular genetics, bioengineering, industrial production, biosafety, epidemiology, medicine, etc. At present, UNMOVIC's staff are refining its electronic database on past inspections and techniques, and they continue to analyse commercial satellite imagery of sites of interest and to maintain the membership and skills of the roster of experts.

The present size of UNMOVIC is somewhat larger than would be necessary for a standing, permanent body. Most technical experts (defined as supporting staff in areas such as data processing, imagery, computer support and training support, plus various administrative services) could be mobilised when needed from a roster of trained experts, and only a few need be retained at headquarters. Some of the other UNMOVIC support staff (e.g., logistics, health, administration, etc) could probably be shared with other UN offices. A standing staff of around 30-35 inspectors and technical experts and fewer than 20 non-technical support staff is a current rough estimate.

In the course of operation under two quite different Executive Chairs, Blix and Perricos, there has been opportunity for UNMOVIC to make a number of adjustments and improvements in its organisation and modus operandi.29 UNMOVIC stands as the obvious starting point for designing a new commission.

UNMOVIC and the IAEA have worked harmoniously together, housed in the same field headquarters, consulting on mission planning, and frequently borrowing inspectors or conducting joint inspections. All support functions for both groups have been provided by UNMOVIC. The success of their cooperation encourages consideration of similar collaborations within a future permanent commission.

Given the absence of any other monitoring mechanisms for biological weapons or missiles, the expertise of a new nonproliferation commission must obviously be focused in those areas. A cooperative arrangement with the IAEA to provide nuclear expertise has already been tested successfully. On chemical weapons, it would be desirable to utilise the expertise of OPCW, but advance agreement would be essential on a number of important issues before active collaboration could be undertaken. In any case, the staff of a future commission must have sufficient expertise in chemical weapons and other areas to allow for professional decisions regarding collaborative arrangements and liaison.

Many countries, and at least one of the UNMOVIC Commissioners,30 want UNMOVIC and the IAEA to return to Iraq and bring the search for WMD to a proper conclusion in cooperation with US investigators. If this should occur, it could provide a template for future cooperative activities of a permanent inspection/ monitoring/verification commission with outside organisations undertaking similar activities.

Possible Functions of a New Commission

Disarmament, monitoring and verification can take many forms. Strategies other than those used in Iraq by the Security Council may be desirable in different situations, and new tools may need to be devised. A new commission must have UNMOVIC's capabilities but must also be adaptable to other kinds of missions. In addition to mandatory, intrusive inspections, the Security Council might wish to negotiate less intrusive inspections with the acquiescence of the state to be inspected, perhaps using the possibility of international sanctions as a motivator. Voluntary inspections might also be conducted to search for nonstate entities within a state's borders.

Inspections-on-request are another category of interest: a state might offer to undergo inspections in order to deflect accusations, to confirm its annual information-exchange report under the BWC's confidence-building measures (CBMs), or simply to promote the concept of transparency. The new commission's mandate could allow for such use at the request of the UN Secretary General, without requiring a Security Council vote.

In case of accident or use of weapons involving biological, chemical or nuclear materials, the commission's experts, pre-armed with prophylactic and protective measures, would be available for mobilisation on short notice to monitor environmental contamination and assure the safety of first responders. In this capacity the commission could play a role in directing emergency responses and preventing further injuries.

In addition to maintaining its expert roster and training/updating activities, there are many necessary ongoing functions for the permanent staff of a nonproliferation commission. These include:

  • Establishing agreements and protocols with other organisations for future collaboration if called upon;
  • Maintaining an extensive database on inspection and monitoring experience (theirs and others'), including techniques used, problems encountered and outcomes;
  • Keeping abreast of new inspection and monitoring technology;
  • Developing guidelines for inspection and monitoring procedures, document analysis and other measures at different levels of intrusiveness that may be needed in different situations;
  • Developing databases on sites of potential concern, using open sources and satellite imagery monitoring.

A related area where a WMD monitoring commission could play a useful role is analysis of the annual reports by states parties to the Biological Weapons Convention under its politically-binding CBMs, and provision of assistance in filing to parties that fail to file or file incomplete reports.

Issues to Be Resolved

Many serious outstanding issues need to be considered in a preparatory study. The following list contains some comments but no solutions.

1. Whether a permanent nonproliferation commission should report to the Security Council or the Secretary General

There are a number of reasons for preferring the Security Council. As the Amorim Report noted, experience shows that firm and active support by the Security Council is required for implementation of the measures employed in Iraq. The responsibility for enforcing nonproliferation ought to be placed where the power lies. The BWC, for example, specifies investigation by the Security Council as its only means for verification. Furthermore, the availability to Security Council members of a commission with an auspicious pedigree, when WMD problems arise, would promote a multilateral response through the commission. On the negative side, the permanent five of the Security Council would be able to exercise their vetoes and so exempt themselves and their allies from any action by the commission. This is likely to be true regardless of the position of the commission in the UN system. It is already clear that the Secretary General would not invoke his existing inspection authority without prior approval by the Security Council. If a nonproliferation commission were established under the Secretary General alone, he would risk being compromised if he instituted inspection/monitoring activities without first obtaining the approval of the Security Council. The likely result would be a dilution of authority and inevitable delays in action.

2. Sources of funding

Sufficient, assured funding for a new commission is essential if it is to be effective. Although UNMOVIC was funded through the oil-for-food programme, it (and UNSCOM likewise) was still pinched for resources and sometimes had to seek donations in spite of its aim for complete independence. Medical and communications staff, for example, had to be contributed by individual states. A funding mechanism needs to be found that will guarantee full independence.

UNMOVIC's budget during the year in which it operated a three-month investigation in Iraq was approximately $80 million, which includes the initial purchase of permanent equipment. A quarter of the total was spent on the rental of aircraft. Compared to the $300 million spent by the Iraq Survey Group in its first three months, and the estimate of an additional $600 million for completing its work, UNMOVIC's budget looks like a bargain.

3. Intelligence, confidentiality and political influence

The problems of UNSCOM in this regard were a learning experience. UNMOVIC's stated policy of one-way intelligence and confidentiality safeguards seem to have been effective, but the matter requires further examination, along with examination of the experience of the IAEA, OPCW and other international agencies.

On the other hand, overly secretive practices on the part of UNSCOM and UNMOVIC obstructed public scrutiny of their findings. Questions about WMD in Iraq that could have been laid to rest by the release of technical data were allowed to persist, thereby contributing to unsound policy decisions by States. A new commission should, to the extent possible, take a purely technical approach, with maximum openness, in order to minimise politicisation.

4. Whether and how to collaborate with OPCW and other organisations

There is no point in duplicating functions already available elsewhere, in particular, from OPCW. However, there are many complications that will have to be negotiated well in advance of any actual collaboration. The existing UN-OPCW relationship agreement, which allows for negotiation of additional agreements on technical issues, could serve as a starting point. For OPCW to participate under a mandate that goes beyond that established under the CWC, an agreement approved by the CWC's Conference of States Parties, on recommendation of the CWC Executive Council, would be necessary. Whether they would approve is uncertain. An agreement would probably be untenable if the CWC's governing bodies wanted to evaluate the evidence and approve the mandate for each collaborative mission.

Questions to be resolved include who shall bear the costs of inspections, have the decision-making authority and have access to the information produced; how to deal with confidential information; what would be the legal status of OPCW staff when on commission missions, especially in States not party to the CWC. Further, OPCW inspection rules, operations and training are not the same in all respects as those required by a body like UNMOVIC, so that additional training would undoubtedly be required.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) attempts to go in wherever a critical health problem occurs, but it will not investigate unnatural causes. It might be desirable to conclude an agreement with WHO on providing information on health emergencies and alerting the nonproliferation commission whenever questions arise as to their cause.

5. Whether nonproliferation enforcement is possible without prior or threatened military action

Iraq was a defeated country when it was forced to accept UNSCOM. UNMOVIC's tough stance on unlimited access and other demands was possible because its inspectors encountered unprecedented Iraqi cooperation, no doubt influenced by the credible threat of force. Without that threat, what would happen if a country to be inspected were to refuse any access at all? Certainly, refusal would only strengthen suspicions and could lead to consideration of the use of force. This implicit threat would surely play a role in the confrontation, as would sanctions or the threat of sanctions; but political factors would determine the Security Council's willingness to apply the necessary pressure.

6. Whether and how sanctions could be fine-tuned to minimise harm to the civilian population

A conjugate question is how to cope with the uncertainties of political perseverance.

7. The possibility that commission training and experience could spread WMD capabilities and result in proliferation

The goal of broad international representation among the inspectors may require careful calibration to minimise this possibility, which has been raised by France. The handling of confidential information related to country declarations and field activities is also important in this respect.

Finally, timing may be all-important in achieving the establishment of a permanent inspection, monitoring and verification commission and preserving the expertise assembled by UNMOVIC. Studies to evaluate the measures and techniques used in Iraq should get started right away, so that, when the time is right for agreement on a permanent commission, the Security Council will have data on which to base a broader preparative study.


1. Kofi Annan, speech at the opening of the UN General Assembly, September 23, 2003.

2. The United States has proposed one such possibility: a Security Council resolution requiring governments to criminalise and prevent the transfer to nonstate entities of WMD or financial or other support for their acquisition. See Colum Lynch, 'Targeting Spread of Deadliest Arms: U.S. Proposes U.N. Resolution Curbing Transfer of Weapons', Washington Post, December 17, 2003. Although the text had not yet been released at this writing, the US is said to be opposed to including any enforcement mechanism that would empower the Security Council to act against violators. If the proposed resolution is merely a call for domestic actions by each country, it will do little to advance an international sense of security against terrorism.

3. UN General Assembly Resolution 42/37C (1987).

4. Dafna Linzer, 'Britain, France Want U.N. Agency of Arms Inspectors', Associated Press, in Philadelphia Inquirer, November 26, 2003.

5. The Scientists Working Group on Biological and Chemical Weapons has issued two papers: 'UNMOVIC Could Help Resolve Future Biological Weapons Crises' (June and August 2003) and 'Moving Beyond Treaty Regimes to Control Weapons of Mass Destruction' (October 2003).

6. Jessica T. Mathews, George Perkovich, and Joseph Cirincione, WMD in Iraq: Evidence and Implications, Report of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, January 2004.

7. Dafna Linzer, op. cit.

8. For references, see D. Cortright et al, Unproven: The Controversy over Justifying War in Iraq, Fourth Freedom Forum, June 2003, http://www.fourthfreedom.org.

9. See the Twelfth and Thirteenth Quarterly Reports of the Executive Chairman of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission under paragraph 12 of Security Council resolution 1284 (1999), February 28, 2003 and May 31, 2003, and IAEA Report to the UN Security Council, March 7, 2003.

10. Interim Progress Report of the Iraq Survey Group, October 2, 2003, not publicly released; see ref. 11.

11. David Kay, Statement on the Interim Progress Report of the Iraq Survey Group before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Defense, and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, October 2, 2003.

12. Bob Drogin, 'Experts downplay Bioagent,' Los Angeles Times, October 17, 2003.

13. The Iraqi Weapons Puzzle, New York Times Editorial, October 12, 2003.

14. David Kay, op. cit. (ref. 11). Operation Desert Storm was the name given to the 1991 US-led military action to drive Iraq out of Kuwait, following its invasion in 1990. The escalation of aerial bombing and military operations undertaken by the US and UK in December 1998 were code-named Desert Fox.

15. David Kay, Interview by Jim Lehrer on PBS TV New, January 29, 2004.

16. Barton Gellman, 'Iraq's Arsenal Was Only on Paper: Since Gulf War, Nonconventional Weapons Never Got Past the Planning Stage' (five-part article) The Washington Post, January 7, 2004.

17. UNSCOM would likely have uncovered the entire inventory without information obtained from Kamel. Rolf Ekeus, then-chief of UNSCOM, writes that "in April 1995, four months before the Iraqi official defected, UN inspectors disclosed to the Security Council that Iraq had a major biological weapons program...The defection...provided some additional confirmation...but the inspectors learned few new details." Rolf Ekeus, 'Yes, Let's Go into Iraq...with an Army of Inspectors', Washington Post, December 15, 2002.

18. Gellman, op. cit.; David Kay, op. cit. (ref. 15).

19. For a hindsight analysis of Iraq's strategy at that time, written by a former proponenet of invasion to eliminate WMD, see Kenneth M. Pollack, 'Spies, Lies and Weapons: What Went Wrong.' The Atlantic Monthly, January/February 2003.

20. Mathews, Perkovich, and Cirincione, op. cit.

21. Quoted by Ken Fireman, 'Iraq Weapons Debate', Newsday October 26, 2003.

22. See, for example, F.R.Cleminson, 'What Happened to Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction', in Arms Control Today, September, 2003; see also the studies cited above by Cortright et al and by Pollack.

23. James Risen, David Sanger and Thom Shanker, 'In Sketchy Data, Trying to Gauge Iraq Threat,' in The NY Times July 20, 2003.

24. Mathews, Perkovich, and Cirincione, op. cit.

25. Amorim Report, March 27, 1999, available on the UNMOVIC website http://www.unmovic.org.

26. Executive Chairman's Plan, April 2000, available on the UNMOVIC website, http://www.unmovic.org.

27. Multidisciplinary teams included military defence, munitions, engineering, customs and other specialties relevant to the overall mission.

28. These figures do not include top management officials and supporting personnel provided by the UN (guards, translators, etc.) or contracted (eg, transportation personnel). Some of these personnel have been included in official reports of staff numbers.

29. See the Thirteenth Quarterly report, cited in ref. 9, for a summary of UNMOVIC operations at its operational peak.

30. F.R.Cleminson, op. cit.

31. During the first Iraq war, the Swiss Disaster Relief agency immunised and trained a volunteer group of experts in protective suits for mobilisation on 24-hour notice in case WMD were used in Iraq. With a jet on standby and the protection of neutral Swiss diplomatic passports, the group, Task Force Scorpio, was prepared to leave for Iraq upon request by the UN Secretary General to identify the threat, measure the extent of contamination, and let relief agencies know when it was safe to send in aid. Fortunately the services of the Task Force were not needed and it has since disbanded.

Barbara Hatch Rosenberg, PhD, is currently the Chair of the Arms Control Center Scientists Working Group on Biological and Chemical Weapons, and Natural Sciences Research Professor at the State University of New York at Purchase.

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