Iraq and CW Utility

Thinking a bit on this post, I have to wonder why Hussein and the CIA drew different conclusions concerning the utility of chemical weapons. Recall the ISG report’s claim that Hussein regarded CW as ” vital to Iraq’s national security strategy.” The CIA report does not draw this conclusion.

The report does, however, say that “[I]f the use of chemicals continues or increases, it would be an indication to Third World states that chemical weapons have military utility.”The report does not explain how or why other governments would draw this conclusion when, as the report says, Iraq would not “gain a strategic advantage” from CW use. For me, the real question are whether – and under what circumstances – states will go to the trouble of acquiring chemical weapons.

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