Monday, January 02, 2006


(I am posting this here so I can have it in a format that transfers easily to AOL's message boards.)

Saddam wanted to recreate Iraq's WMD capability-which was essentially destroyed in 1991-after sanctions were removed and Iraq's economy stabilized, but probably with a different mix of capabilities to that which previously existed.

Iran was the pre-eminent motivator of this policy. All senior level Iraqi officials considered Iran to be Iraq's principal enemy in the region. The wish to balance Israel and acquire status and influence in the Arab world were also considerations, but secondary.

ISG uncovered Iraqi plans or designs for three long-range ballistic missiles with ranges from 400 to 1,000 km and for a 1,000-km-range cruise missile, although none of these systems progressed to production and only one reportedly passed the design phase.

Iraq Survey Group (ISG) discovered further evidence of the maturity and significance of the pre-1991 Iraqi Nuclear Program but found that Iraq's ability to reconstitute a nuclear weapons program progressively decayed after that date.

While a small number of old, abandoned chemical munitions have been discovered, ISG judges that iraq unilaterally destroyed its undeclared chemical weapons stockpile in 1991.

In practical terms, with the destruction of the Al Hakam facility, Iraq abandoned its ambition to obtain advanced BW weapons quickly. ISG found no direct evidence that Iraq, after 1996, had plans for a new BW program or was conducting BW-specific work for military purposes. Indeed, from the mid-1990s, despite evidence of continuing interest in nuclear and chemical weapons, there appears to be a complete absence of discussion or even interest in BW at the Presidential level.

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