Preventing Biological Warfare: The Failure of American Leadership

By Malcolm R. Dando | Go to book overview
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The Chemical Weapons
Convention and the Worldwide
Chemical Industry

Given the general Soviet position on verification, and the suspicions of the Cold War era, it is hardly surprising that there was considerable debate about the concept throughout that period of time. In a Stockholm International Peace Research Institute study published in 1977, for example, Andrzej Karkoszka, from Poland, argued that verification had five specific functions. 1 These are set out in what might be considered to be a descending order of importance in Table 2.1. It will be noted, first, that this is a very broad view of verification. More surprisingly, Karkoszka did not regard the deterrence of violations as the most important function of verification. In his view, reassurance was more fundamental. As he put the matter:

Here the function of verification is seen mainly as a positive concept; the idea that verification is not merely a deterrent against violations in a negative sense, but that it is a means of giving states reassurance that their security is not being jeopardized by the implementation of the treaty

This is an important viewpoint, as is the associated idea that a verification system can form an important channel for low-level dispute settlement and a building block for future treaty development.

A similar point was made by Allan Krass in another SIPRI study a decade later. 2 In Krass' view verification has two main purposes: to deter violations by posing a credible threat of discovery and to build confidence in a treaty by demonstrating compliance …. These two functions overlap, and to an extent can be contradictory, but they have to be


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Preventing Biological Warfare: The Failure of American Leadership


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