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would have more generalized medical/hospital applications. This effort continued at least through 1998.
It is also noteworthy that Iraq's experienced senior personnel who were active in Iraq's BW program in the 1980s remained intact as a unit throughout the inspection period.
In essence, Iraq retained the personnel for its BW program. It tried to retain equipment and supplies. When UNSCOM forced the acknowledgement of Iraq's BW program and subsequent destruction of equipment, facilities, and supplies, Iraq developed the indigenous capability to produce critical equipment and supplies. Although Al Hakam was completely destroyed, not all production capable equipment in Iraq was destroyed or rendered harmless. Iraq's reluctance to fully and openly declare the full extent of its BW program only enhances the perception that Iraq still maintains a BW program.
UNITED NATIONs Bw INSPECTION AND MONITORING EFFORTs INIRAQ
UNSCOM operated in Iraq from May 1991 until December 1998. Iraq was a defeated country and subject to the coercive disarmament measures of UN Resolution 687. This resolution compelled Iraq to give up its existing WMD capabilities and accept monitoring by UN inspectors to assure such activities were not reconstituted. Resolutions 687,707, 715 (and others) gave UNSCOM extraordinary rights to conduct intrusive no-notice inspections as well as access to any location, person, document, computer, etc., UNSCOM felt necessary to accomplish its task.
The reality was far from this utopian ideal. UNSCOM experienced obstructions in Iraq from the beginning. Ultimately, UNSCOM was notable to accomplish fully either the task of accounting for Iraqi weapons programs nor monitoring to assure Iraq did not reconstitute prohibited programs. Iraq gradually gave up only what UNSCOM could prove Iraq still retained. UNSCOM could not prove Iraq had an offensive BW program. Nor did any country, including the United States, provide any intelligence for UNSCOM to act upon to catch the Iraqis. The key thread that UNSCOM followed to the Iraqi program was the record of Iraq importing vast quantities of biological growth media-totally out of scale with any legitimate civilian purposes. (Iraq can now produce such material indigenously.)
By early 1995, with the accumulating evidence amassed by UNSCOM, most countries were rightly concerned about Iraq's BW capability. At the expert level (leading BW experts including personnel from all PS members of the UNSC) this level of concern continued through 1998, but at the political/diplomatic level, some countries experts' concern was not reflected in the verbiage and actions by the respective leaders and diplomats. I cite this disparity between the experts and the diplomats because I believe it has implications should inspections resume.
Implementation of Monitoring: Only after Iraq, in November 1993, accepted SCR 715(1991), could UNSCOM begin the necessary steps to implement monitoring. While monitoring began for CW and missiles in October 1994, the monitoring for BW could not be fully implemented until April 1995. The system was designed following an extensive year-long effort to survey every site in Iraq with some potential for biological activity. This included detailed examinations of hospitals, university microbiology labs, breweries, vaccine plants, etc. For each site, UNSCOM collected extensive data on the facility, interviewed staff, searched documents, etc. Based on such data, inspection protocols were drawn up that prescribed how each site should be monitored. Over 80 sites were designated for regular monitoring in the BW area.
Monitoring required each site subject to monitoring to submit on a semi-annual basis extensive formats requesting detailed information about the sites activities and personnel during preceding period. These data were analyzed and checked by resident teams based in Baghdad. In addition high priority sites were required to submit monthly monitoring parameters that were specifically designed for each site. A few sites were also selected for monitoring with video cameras capable of recording as well as
transmitting live to the UNSCOM offices.
UNSCOM was able to generate a lot of evidence that Iraqi declarations were not accurate. As regards the accuracy and completeness of Iraq's declaration and the likelihood that it was continuing its BW program, nothing has occurred to change the opinion of the experts. Nor does it appear, in spite of the lip-service that is given to getting inspectors back into Iraq, that there has been any material change in the support that an inspection regime might expect from UNSC P5 members. It appears that most of the proposals for getting inspectors back into Iraq is based on the premise that "any inspectors are better than none." To be blunt, that is pure rubbish, just an illusion of inspections. Even while UNSCOM inspectors were still operable, Iraq was constantly trying to restrict monitoring inspectors activities, curb their access, and require notification of inspections, even to monitored sites. Such limitations to monitoring would make such a regime a farce; under such circumstances, monitoring inspectors would be worse than no inspectors because it would provide an inappropriate illusion of compliance to the world community. What countries really believe and what they will espouse are most likely two entirely different views. I was told by a senior diplomat in 1998 "it would not matter if you placed a BW-laden Al Hussein warhead that you found in Iraq on the UNSC table, it would not change opinions about lifting sanctions". He added "if the CW and missile files are closed, the world will not care about biology." It appears to me that this may still be the viewpoint of several nations.
Monitoring: Monitoring teams, unlike popular misperception, are not set up for discovery, e.g., finding undeclared sites or completing unfinished proscribed program investigations. Rather these teams were designed to be a deterrent to reconstituting a proscribed program using dual-use equipment at declared sites. In UNSCOM terminology this meant the large-scale military relevant programs; it did not address the very low-scale required for terrorist purposes. Implementation of monitoring by UNSCOM was predicated on Iraq fully and willingly cooperating with UNSCOM; that did not happen. Iraq would only give up and can be expected to give up only what the inspectors can find and prove.
It was also predicated on Iraq providing full and complete disclosure of its proscribed BW program; that did not happen. It was also predicated on Iraq making full and accurate disclosure of all facilities containing dual use equipment and capability; that did not happen.
To be effective, the monitoring system must pose a reasonable risk to Iraq of the monitoring system detecting violations of a significant scale. Even under the best of circumstances it would be almost impossible to detect small-scale research, development, and production of BW agents by a State determined to conduct such activities. Without a sense of certainty by Iraq that there would be severe repercussions by a united UNSC, monitoring does not have a chance of true success.
A fundamental requirement for monitoring to be effective depends not only on having highly qualified inspectors but equally important on full support by the UNSC. Past history indicates that Iraq can hinder and in some cases outright block inspectors with impunity and then attempt to blame the incidents on the inspectors. The UNSC does not seem able to equate failure to cooperate with failure to comply.
Monitoring and Inspections - Prospects for Success: This is very difficult on which to comment. The success or failure depends too much on uncontrollable elements. What will be the conditions under which the inspectors return? What support will the inspection regime have, given Iraq's recalcitrance and the likely lack of unanimous support in the UNSCP Will Iraq truly cooperate and reveal or destroy all its BW activity? Or will Iraq continue its established pattern of deception, denial, and concealment?
What would be required for success? The right, accepted again by Iraq and enforced by all members of the UNSC, for immediate, unconditional access to physical locations, personnel, and documents as determined necessary by the Inspectorate. Any limitations or conditions on access will produce large reductions in effectiveness and credibility of monitoring. The demand by the UNSC that Iraq provides a complete disclosure of its WMD with supporting evidence that can be verified and not accept the illusion
of cooperation as meaning Iraq is in compliance. There must be a harsh penalty for non-compliance that is supported in advance by all P5 members of the UNSC.
Implicit in immediate and unconditional access to sites is a need for short travel times from base locations to sites to be visited. UNSCOM operated from a central site in Baghdad that provided Iraq with several hours unintended notice of inspections when such inspections were at locations in the far western, northern, or southern regions of Iraq. This should be changed for reliable monitoring. As such, additional satellite inspection teams should be established and located on a permanent basis in these outlying regions. This will have significant personnel, logistical, transportation, and financial implications that goes beyond that envisioned by UNMOVIC.
Another factor of concern with a monitoring system that would have limitations or conditions imposed on it is Iraq's consideration for using mobile production facilities. This was considered (and allegedly discarded) in 1987/1988 when Iraq decided to establish the Al Hakam production facility. A determined Iraq even with a greatly reinforced monitoring system might (if it has not already) reconsider this option. Such a facility on a limited scale would be virtually impossible for monitors to identify; it need not have and is unlikely to have any signatures that would identify it from other transport vans,
Finally, it must be recognized that Iraq has and uses the full resources of a nation state with its centrally directed military industry and security apparatus to deal with a limited number of international inspectors reporting to an international body with shifting goals and attention.
Issue of Non-declared sites: Should Iraq consent to the return of inspectors, it is most unlikely that Iraq would then conduct overt BW activities at declared sites. It therefore follows that Iraq would do everything to prevent or hinder inspection of undeclared sites. Although UNMOVIC is on record as retaining options for undeclared site inspections, the degree that such inspection of an undedared site would need to go, through a series of review procedures, before such an inspection could occur may not bode well for its success. The ability for UNMOVIC to keep information from leaking to Iraq is presumed to be no better than UNSCOM, as such, an undeclared visit would be undedared in name only and only negative findings could be expected,
What are the potential consequences? Should Iraq be allowed to retain its BW (and other WMD programs) it will remain a menace, not only to its neighbors, but to the world at large because of the concomitant instability it would create in the region. The Gulf States would need to judge all their actions in light of the Iraqi threat. The regime is unpredictable. It is already openly supplying support to the Palestinians. Would Iraq even more overtly risk using WMD on Israel? What would be the repercussions from such a foolhardy action? Others are better equipped than I to speak to these matters.
Bioterrorism Threat: The world's press in recent weeks has cited the opposition of most nations in the Middle East and Europe to any action against Iraq. It is cited that Iraq is weakened and does not pose any immediate and significant threat. It seems to me this does not address the terrorist threat posed by Iraq's WMD programs. One would think after 9/11, a more realistic appraisal of Iraq's capability and willingness to use WMD as terrorist weapons would be forthcoming. As I cited above, Iraq’s BW program from its inception included a terrorist component.
The threat that Iraq’s BW program poses as a bioterrorist weapon to any of its perceived enemies is enormous. While much attention is focused on bioterrorism against people, the economic devastation that could be wreaked on the food animal or food crop industry may be far greater in the long term effect. Clearly the greater danger for the US at home and abroad that is posed by Iraq's WMD activities is the potential for its use in terrorism, whether by Iraq directly or through support to terrorist organizations. Should Iraq be involved with using its BW expertise in bioterrorist activities, it may be impossible to find a "smoking gun" that would implicate Iraq. BW agents are unlikely to have a signature that will definitively pinpoint a laboratory or a country as the origin.
Concern for BW terrorism is not limited to immediate manifestation of such uses. It is worth recalling Iraq's developing and alleged weaponization of aflatoxin. Such an agent has no military relevant application and would only have relevance where an enemy did not know it was attacked or could not fight back. Iraq has shown a willingness to use CW agents on its neighbor and its own population, might it also have used or intended to use aflatoxin on such defenseless populations? It takes ten years or more for aflatoxin to manifest its carcinogenic and liver damaging effects.
Iraq's BW program in 2002: I intentionally left this discussion to the end because much of the above discussions affect this response. In 1990, as stated above, Iraq's BW program was still in expansion and development. It probably had three bacterial agents, one bacterial toxin, one mycotoxin and one anticrop agent in its arsenal. Although Iraq denies it, Iraq had the equipment and know-how to dry BW agents in a small particle that would be highly dispersable into an aerosol. (Iraq acknowledges testing aflatoxin and Smutspores mixed with silica gel.) It still retains the necessary personnel, equipment (including spray dryer), and supplies to have an equal or expanded capability in this regard. It has had 12 years to advance its viral capability and, as I have cited elsewhere, this almost certainly includes smallpox as an agent. Even more ominous is Iraq's successful efforts to acquire the necessary equipment and reagents for adding genetic engineering to its BW repertoire. This was particularly alarming because, at the same time, key personnel in Iraq's virus and bioengineering BW program were no longer functional at their stated work locations. There is no doubt in my mind that Iraq has a much stronger BW program today than it had in 1990. Perhaps of most concern would be anthrax and tularemia bacteria and smallpox virus as well as antianimal and anticrop agents.
Testimony Delivered by
For more than a decade, the international community has sought unsuccessfully a longterm solution to an Iraq led by Saddam and armed with WMD. Indeed, the start of any sensible long-term approach to Iraq is to understand why the United Nations arms inspections slid into irrelevance and four years ago came to and end.
UNSCOM's efforts to eliminate Saddam's WMD capacity, which effectively ended in 1998 when the inspectors left Iraq, were based on four assumptions, all of which turned out to be false. These were: • Saddam's rule would not survive the disasters suffered by Iraq as a result of its invasion of Kuwait, • Iraq's WMD capabilities were not extensive nor significantly indigenous; A post-Saddam Iraq would declare to UNSCOM all of Iraq's WMD capabilities; UNSCOM would be able to "destroy, remove or render harmless" Iraq's WMD capabilities leaving an Iraq that would not have WMD capability as an enduring legacy.
The reasoning of US Administration officials at the end of the Gulf War that no regime could survive a disaster as compelling as Iraq's defeat in the Gulf War was no doubt true for a democratic system. Saddam's endurance, however, stands as yet another stark reminder of the dangers of attempting to understand the world on the basis solely of our own values and experience. Saddam's Iraq was and is a brutal, totalitarian dictatorship that can survive as long as it maintains coercive power over its citizens. Once Saddam's survival became a fact, all hope of his voluntarily yielding up the very weapons that allow him to hope to dominate the region was lost.
What is much less well understood is the impact that the discovery of the gigantic scope and indigenous nature of Saddam's weapons program had on the prospects of being able to eliminate this program by inspection alone. We now know that the Iraqi efforts to build an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction:
• Spanned more than a decade;
• Cost more than $20 Billion;
• Involved more than 40,000 Iraqis and succeed in mastering all the technical and
most of the productions steps necessary to acquire a devil's armory of nuclear,
'David A. Kay led for the International Atomic Energy Agency and UNSCOM, three arms inspection missions as chief nuclear weapons inspector in Iraq during 1991-92. Now a Senior Corporate vice president with San Diegoheadquartered Science Applications International Corp., he is based in McLean, Va. The views expressed here are entirely his own and do not represent those of SAIC