What Does Disarmament Look Like?
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On September 12, 2002, President Bush called on the United Nations to live up to its founding purpose and enforce the determination of the international community expressed in 16 UN Security Council resolutions that the outlaw Iraqi regime be disarmed of its weapons of mass destruction.
On November 8, the Security Council unanimously passed UNSCR 1441, which gave the Iraqi regime a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations (OP 2). Recognizing that genuine disarmament can only be accomplished through the willing cooperation of the Iraqi regime, the resolution called for the reintroduction of weapons inspectors into Iraq, to test whether or not the regime had made a strategic decision to give up its mass destruction weapons.
The world knows what successful cooperative disarmament looks like. When a country decides to disarm, and to provide to the world verifiable evidence that it has disarmed, there are three common elements to its behavior:
- The decision to disarm is made at the highest political level;
- The regime puts in place national initiatives to dismantle weapons and infrastructure; and
- The regime fully cooperates with international efforts to implement and verify disarmament; its behavior is transparent, not secretive.
Examples of Cooperative Disarmament
In recent years, there have been several notable examples of countries that have chosen to give up mass destruction weapons, and willingly cooperated with the international community to verify its disarmament. These countries include:
- South Africa
High level Political Commitment
President de Klerk decided in 1989 to end South Africas nuclear weapons production and in 1990 to dismantle all weapons. South Africa joined the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1991 and later that year accepted full scope International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.
Under the leadership of President Kravchuk and President Nazarbayev, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, respectively, ratified the Nuclear Nonproliferation and START Treaties. This created high-level political commitments to give up the nuclear weapons and strategic delivery vehicles they inherited upon the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
National Initiatives to Dismantle Weapons of Mass Destruction
South Africa, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan each charged high-level organizations with implementing disarmament. In South Africa it was the Atomic Energy Commission and ARMSCOR. In Kazakhstan it was primarily the Ministries of Defense and Atomic Energy. In Ukraine it was mainly the Ministry of Defense. Each of these organizations worked cooperatively with outside organizations - for example, the IAEA in South Africa and the United States and Russia in Ukraine and Kazakhstan - to implement disarmament.
Full Cooperation and Transparency
The true measure of cooperation is to answer questions without being asked. In each of these examples, weapons programs were disclosed fully and voluntarily.
South Africa began its disclosure with a declaration to the IAEA on its nuclear program, which was expanded over time. South Africa allowed the IAEA complete access to operating and defunct facilities, provided thousands of current and historical documents, and allowed detailed, unfettered discussions with personnel involved in the South African program.
An IAEA article from 1994 sums up the cooperative South African approach to nuclear disarmament and IAEA verification:
In the case of South Africa, the results of extensive inspection and assessment, and the transparency and openness shown, have led to the conclusion that there were no indications to suggest that the initial inventory is incomplete or that the nuclear weapon programme was not completely terminated and dismantled. However, in the future, and without prejudice to the IAEAs rights under the safeguards agreement, the IAEA plans to take up the standing invitation of the South African Government -- under its reiterated policy of transparency -- to provide the IAEA with full access to any location or facility associated with the former nuclear weapons program and to grant access, on a case-by-case basis, to other locations or facilities that the IAEA may specifically wish to visit.
Given the full cooperation of both governments, implementation of the disarmament decision was smooth. All nuclear warheads were returned to Russia by 1996, and all missile silos and heavy bombers were destroyed before the December 2001 START deadline. The United States had full access, beyond Treaty requirements, to confirm silo and bomber destruction, which were done with U.S. assistance.
Both countries have also gone farther in disarmament than the NPT and START Treaty require. For example, Kazakhstan no longer has strategic missiles and Ukraine is well on the way to giving up its strategic missiles. Ukraine asked for U.S. assistance to destroy its Backfire bombers and also air-launched cruise missiles.
In the early 1990s, Kazakhstan revealed to us a stockpile of more than 500 kg. of HEU, and asked that we remove it to safety in the United States. It has also shut down its plutonium-producing reactor and is using U.S. assistance to ensure the long-term safe storage of the spent fuel. Finally, Kazakhstan used U.S. assistance to destroy all nuclear test tunnels and bore holes -- a total of almost 200 -- at the former Soviet test site there.
The behavior of the Iraqi regime contrasts sharply with successful disarmament examples.
Instead of high-level commitment to disarm, highly organized concealment efforts, staffed by thousands of Iraqis, are led from the very top of the Iraqi regime.
- Iraqs concealment activities are run by the Special Security Organization (SSO), under the control of Qusay Saddam Hussein, Saddam Husseins son.
Instead of charging organizations to work with outside groups to disarm, the regime tasks key institutions with thwarting the inspectors.
- The National Monitoring Directorate -- whose stated function is to facilitate inspections -- actually serves as an anti-inspections organization that:
- Provides tip-offs to inspection sites; and
- Uses minders to intimidate witnesses.
- The minders are often former engineers and scientists with direct WMD experience, and first-hand knowledge of what needs to be protected from the inspectors when they arrive at a facility.
- Thousands of personnel from Iraqi security agencies provide manpower for hiding documents and materiel from inspectors, policing inspection sites, and monitoring the inspectors activities.
- Such organizations include the Military Industrialization Organization, the SSO, the Special Division for Baghdad Security, the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS), the Special Republican Guard, the Republican Guard, and the Directorate of General Security.
- These anti-inspectors vastly outnumber the 200 UNMOVIC and the IAEA personnel on the ground in Iraq.
Instead of cooperation and transparency Iraq has chosen to conceal and to lie.
- Iraqs declaration is not currently accurate, full, and complete. It is inaccurate and incomplete.
- Anthrax and Other Undeclared Biological Agents
- The UN Special Commission concluded that Iraq did not verifiably account for, at a minimum, 2160kg of growth media. This is enough to produce 26,000 liters of anthrax -- 3 times the amount Iraq declared; 1200 liters of botulinum toxin; and, 2200 liters of aflatoxin, a carcinogen.
- Ballistic Missiles
- Iraq has declared its attempt to manufacture missile fuels suited only to a type of missile which Iraqs declaration does not admit to developing.
- Iraq claims that its designs for a larger diameter missile fall within the UN-mandated 150km limit. But Dr. Blix has cited 13 recent Iraqi missile tests which exceed the 150km limit.
- Nuclear Weapons
- The Declaration ignores efforts to procure uranium from abroad.
- In 1999, UN Special Commission and international experts concluded that Iraq needed to provide additional, credible information about VX production. UNSCOM concluded that Iraq had not accounted for 1.5 tons of VX, a powerful nerve agent. Former UNSCOM head Richard Butler wrote that a missile warhead of the type Iraq has made and used can hold some 140 liters of VX . . . A single such warhead would contain enough of the chemical to kill up to 1 million people.
- The declaration provides no information to address these concerns.
- Chemical and Biological Weapons Munitions
- In January 1999, the UN Special Commission reported that Iraq failed to provide credible evidence that 550 mustard gas-filled artillery shells and 400 biological weapon-capable aerial bombs had been lost or destroyed.
- The Iraqi regime has never adequately accounted for hundreds, possibly thousands, of tons of chemical precursors.
- Empty Chemical Munitions
- There is no adequate accounting for nearly 30,000 empty munitions that could be filled with chemical agents.
- If one of those shells were filled with the nerve agent Sarin, which Iraq is known to have produced, it would contain over 40,000 lethal doses.
- Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) Programs
- Iraq denies any connection between UAV programs and chemical or biological agent dispersal. Yet, Iraq admitted in 1995 that a MIG-21 remote-piloted vehicle tested in 1991 was intended to carry a biological weapon spray system.
- Iraq already knows how to put these biological agents into bombs and how to disperse biological agent using aircraft or unmanned aerial vehicles.
- Mobile Biological Weapons Agent Facilities
- The Iraqi declaration provides no information about its mobile biological weapon agent facilities.
- Iraq continues its tactics of cheat and retreat that defeated prior inspections efforts, and Iraq continues its efforts to hide prohibited WMD programs.
- This fall, satellite photos revealed activity at several suspected WMD facilities, apparently in anticipation of the resumption of inspections.
- We have multiple reports of the intensified efforts to hide documents in spaces considered unlikely to be found, such as private homes of low level officials and universities. On January 16, 2003, a joint UNMOVIC/IAEA team found a significant cache of documents related to Iraqs uranium enrichment program in the home of Iraqi scientist Faleh Hassan.
- We have many reports of WMD material being buried, concealed in lakes, relocated to agricultural areas and private homes, or hidden beneath Mosques or hospitals. In one report such material was buried in the banks of the Tigris river during a low water period. Furthermore, according to these reports, the material is moved constantly, making it difficult to trace or to find without absolutely fresh intelligence.
- The regime routinely conducts well-organized surveillance of inspectors.
- The SSO tracks the number, expertise, equipment, vehicles, location, and heading of inspectors.
- Iraq has in the past used, and is likely again to use, cyber attack methods in its efforts to collect intelligence.
- Computer systems used to store, process, or communicate UNMOVIC and IAEA inspection schedules, methods, criteria, or findings will be particularly high-value targets.
- At a minimum, Iraq can apply tools and methods readily available from publicly accessible Internet sources, many of which are quite effective and require only moderate skill to implement.
- According to Iraqi defector Dr. Khidhir Hamza, Iraqs Babylon Software Company was developing cyber warfare capabilities on behalf of the Iraqi Intelligence Service as early as the 1990s. People assigned to Babylon initially worked on information security technologies and techniques, but some of the programmers were segregated into a highly compartmented unit and tasked with breaking into foreign computers in order to download sensitive data or infect the computers with viruses. Some of the programmers reported that they had accumulated enough expertise to break into moderately protected computer systems.
- Yet the Iraqis accuse the inspectors of being spies the gravest accusation that a totalitarian government can make.
- In mid-January Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan said We know they [the inspectors] are playing an intelligence role. The way they are conducting their inspections and the sites they are visiting have nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction. But we are cooperating with inspection teams in a positive way in order to expose the lies of those who have bad intentions.
- Iraq has not provided immediate, unimpeded, unrestricted and private access to witnesses.
- Instead inspectors have been expected to interview Iraqis with minders under unsecure conditions.
- The regime has resisted allowing interviews outside the country.
- Iraqs list of WMD scientists together with their associated work places and dates ends in 1991 although UNSCOM proved that the programs did not.
- Iraq refuses to provide key documents, some of which have been demanded by inspectors for years.
- Iraq has impeded the inspectors demand to begin aerial surveillance.
Iraqs behavior contrasts sharply with successful disarmament stories.
Instead of a high-level commitment to disarm, Iraqs concealment efforts are led by Saddams son Qusay. The inspectors are labeled spies and treated as the enemy, not as a partner in disarmament.
Instead of national initiatives to disarm, Iraqs SSO and National Monitoring Directorate are national programs involving thousands of people to target inspectors and thwart their duties.
Instead of cooperation and transparency, Iraq has chosen concealment and deceit best exemplified by a 12,000 page declaration which is far from currently accurate, full, and complete, as required by the United Nations Security Council.
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