Lessons from UNSCOM/IAEA applicable to nuclear arms control

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In early 1991, the Security Council of the United Nations tasked the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, with the assistance and cooperation of the United Nations Special Commission, to oversee the destruction, removal or rendering harmless of nuclear weapons material and capabilities in Iraq. The conduct of the nuclear inspections, and the subsequent activities (identification, destruction, removal rendering harmless), have provided a wealth of experience and insight into the inspection and monitoring process as well as into the political realities of such an operation. The early inspections were conducted in an atmosphere of discovery and inexperience on ... continued below

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14 p.

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Dorn, D.W. December 5, 1995.

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Description

In early 1991, the Security Council of the United Nations tasked the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, with the assistance and cooperation of the United Nations Special Commission, to oversee the destruction, removal or rendering harmless of nuclear weapons material and capabilities in Iraq. The conduct of the nuclear inspections, and the subsequent activities (identification, destruction, removal rendering harmless), have provided a wealth of experience and insight into the inspection and monitoring process as well as into the political realities of such an operation. The early inspections were conducted in an atmosphere of discovery and inexperience on both the part of the Iraqis and the IAEA and UNSCOM. As time went on, the Iraqis became more adept at hiding and obscuring relevant documents and equipment, and the inspection teams became more knowledgeable about inspection and investigative techniques, and the pre-existing Iraqi programs. A continuous monitoring presence in Iraq has now been established and an import/export monitoring regime is being developed. While steps taken to date have proven effective in inhibiting resumption of nuclear weaponization activities, it remains to be seen how effective these measures will be in the future. The external and internal conditions which led the Iraqi leadership to undertake a nuclear weaponization program have not changed, and the prognosis for the long term is uncertain. The entire process in Iraq has shown how fragile are the tools available to the international community, and how a determined proliferator can evade inspection and monitoring measures. Such measures cannot prevent nuclear proliferation, they can only hope to deter it, or, failing in that, detect it.

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14 p.

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OSTI as DE96008718

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  • Annual meeting of The American Association for the Advancement of Science, Baltimore, MD (United States), 8-13 Feb 1996

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  • Other: DE96008718
  • Report No.: UCRL-JC--122772
  • Report No.: CONF-960253--2
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 212543
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc672513

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • December 5, 1995

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 29, 2015, 9:42 p.m.

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  • Feb. 17, 2016, 1:10 p.m.

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Dorn, D.W. Lessons from UNSCOM/IAEA applicable to nuclear arms control, article, December 5, 1995; California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc672513/: accessed October 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.