Iraq does not have Iran’s history of making extensive use of terrorism, unconventional warfare, and proxies. At the same time, the success of UN sanctions and the efforts of UNSCOM and the IAEA may lead Iraq to change its approach to delivering weapons of mass destruction in the future. Iraq has the option of exploiting a wide range of unconventional delivery methods that are far less expensive, difficult, and detectable than most of the previous delivery systems, and may be able to use other radical nations or groups that either sympathize with Iraq or would strike against Iraq’s enemies for their own reasons. 1
Once again, there is no way to determine what Iraq does or does not plan, and the outcome of the war of sanctions. Iraq’s official attitude toward terrorism is the usual one of denial. Further, Iraq’s efforts may well be improvised and reactive—and Iraq may suddenly escalate the scale of its use of unconventional warfare/terrorism in reaction to a given contingency or the failure of its military forces. This makes any effort to characterize Iraq’s use of such delivery methods purely speculative—whether in terms of warning against such threats or denying their existence.
What is clear is that such attacks are technically feasible and could offer Iraq significant advantages in a wide range of scenarios, and that they apply equally to biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons. Table 16.1 illustrates this point. Many of the attacks postulated in this table may seem to borrow from bad spy novels and science fiction, but all of the scenarios are at least technically possible. These scenarios also illustrate the fact that Iraq does not need sophisticated military delivery systems, does not need highly lethal weapons of mass destruction, can use terrorism to pose existential threats, can use complex mixes of weapons of mass destruction, and can mix terrorism with elements of covert action and deniability.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Iraq and the War of Sanctions:Conventional Threats and Weapons of Mass Destruction. Contributors: Anthony H. Cordesman - Author. Publisher: Praeger. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1999. Page number: 520.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.