Coalition Forces Still Searching for WMD in Iraq

By Kerr, Paul | Arms Control Today, April 2003 | Go to article overview

Coalition Forces Still Searching for WMD in Iraq


Kerr, Paul, Arms Control Today


AS COALITION TROOPS advance on Baghdad and special forces capture Iraqi sites suspected of housing weapons of mass destruction (WMD), the United States and its allies are still searching for Iraqi nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons-so far without any visible results. The United States and coalition members initiated military conflict against Iraq March 19, citing Iraq's failure to comply with its disarmament obligations as a chief justification for military action.

Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage cautioned that the process of finding and destroying weapons of mass destruction would be "quite time consuming" in a March 25 interview on the PBS "Newshour with Jim Lehrer."

UN weapons inspectors left Iraq March 18 after almost four months of work when the United States failed to gain support from Security Council members opposed to the immediate use of force against Iraq.

In a March 21 briefing, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld listed locating and destroying weapons of mass destruction as one of the most important U.S. military objectives. U.S. Central Command briefer General Victor Renuart said March 25 that coalition forces, consisting almost entirely of U.S. and British troops, are exploiting information gained from seized documents and interviews with captured Iraqi soldiers to find WMD facilities, although no weapons have yet been found.

Assistant Secretary of Defense Victoria Clarke said in a March 26 briefing that U.S. forces did discover 3,000 chemical protective suits, along with gas masks, nerve agent antidote, and antidote injectors in an Iraqi hospital March 25. The equipment was to protect Iraqi forces if Baghdad decides to use chemical weapons, Clarke claimed.

By month's end, no weapons of mass destruction have been used in the war, but Rumsfeld confirmed, in a March 23 briefing, the existence of intelligence reports that Iraq has dispersed chemical weapons among some of their forces and given "selected" commanders the authority to use them.

Diplomacy Fails

The final steps to war began March 7 when the United Kingdom formally introduced a draft resolution stating that Iraq had until March 17 to comply with its disarmament obligations-implying that the council members would take military action if Iraq failed to meet the deadline.

The resolution, co-sponsored by the United States and Spain, stated that, "Iraq will have failed to take the final opportunity afforded by resolution 1441 unless...Iraq has demonstrated full...and active cooperation in accordance with its disarmament obligations...and is yielding possession to UNMOVIC and the IAEA of all weapons, weapon delivery and support systems...and all information regarding prior destruction of such items."

Resolution 1441, adopted November 8, 2002, gave Iraq a "final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations" as set out by Security Council resolutions stretching back to the end of the Persian Gulf War in 1991. (See ACT, December 2002.) The resolution was an attempt at compromise. A similar resolution introduced by the three countries February 24 had said that Iraq had failed to comply with Resolution 1441 and did not give Iraq any further time to disarm. (See ACT, March 2003.)

Washington ultimately failed to persuade a majority of Security Council members to adopt the resolution. France, Russia, China, and Germany called for allowing inspectors more time and increasing their resources. France said it would veto any resolution that implicitly or explicitly authorized the use of force, and Russia backed the French position. Whether China would have vetoed the U.S.-U.K.-Spain resolution is unclear, but it supported France and Russia's stance. Various compromise proposals to outline specific disarmament tasks and give Iraq more time to comply also failed.

In a March 6 speech, Bush said the United States would push for a Security Council vote on the resolution, regardless of whether it would pass. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Coalition Forces Still Searching for WMD in Iraq
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.