Disarming Iraq: Monitoring Power and Resistance

Disarming Iraq: Monitoring Power and Resistance

Disarming Iraq: Monitoring Power and Resistance

Disarming Iraq: Monitoring Power and Resistance


The implementation of disarmament requirements imposed by the Security Council after the Second Gulf War established a strong and unequal power relationship between the United Nations and Iraq. Although the ensuing struggle over imposed disarmament has been a major issue in world politics, international relations theorists continue to ignore it. Deaver argues that this case has important theoretical implications. Using sociological insights and a behavioral approach, he examines the power relationship as well as Iraqi resistance from 1991 to 1998. Theorists are likely to find these analytical tools useful since they provide a ready means of studying the micro-foundations of power relations in generalized terms.


In order to understand the disarmament of Iraq, some historical background is called for. The information in this chapter is meant to provide the bases for comparing changes in Iraqi military capabilities and the power relations that have fostered and constrained them. As such, it is not meant to offer an in-depth analysis of the politics and government of Iraq or of the international nonproliferation regimes. After summarizing Iraqi military developments, it is necessary to consider the damage done by sanctions and Operation Desert Storm before proceeding to study the UN's efforts to disarm Iraq. Thus, the first section of this chapter describes the government's demand for military capabilities in terms of nationalism and foreign influences and then treats world supply in terms of the modes of power that encouraged and failed to check such developments. Relatively free of international monitoring, the Iraqi government in the 1970s took a series of deliberate decisions to strengthen the military. The methods of importation and local production are evident for both conventional and unconventional weapons programs. These newly developed capabilities then subjected to three concerted destructive efforts in reaction to the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait: sanctions, Desert Storm and UN disarmament. Therefore the second section focuses on the effect of the international reaction to this new-found Iraqi threat. The damage done by sanctions and military strikes was limited and uncertain, encouraging the creation of a third means of disarming Iraq.


Iraqi Demand

No experts disagree with the assertion that the Iraqi government engaged in a significant effort to expand its military capabilities in the 1970s and 1980s, and yet none can agree on the numbers that might relate the extent of the development program. Despite the problems created by secrecy, some estimates of both military

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