Academic journal article Military Review

The Continuing Storm: Iraq, Poisonous Weapons, and Deterrence

Academic journal article Military Review

The Continuing Storm: Iraq, Poisonous Weapons, and Deterrence

Article excerpt

THC CONTINUING STORM: Iraq, Poisonous Weapons, and Deterrence by Avigdor Haselkorn, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 1999, 398 pages, $30.00.

In The Continuing Storm: Iraq, Poisonous Weapons, and Deterrence, Avigdor Haselkorn says that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, specifically chemical and biological (CB) weapons, played a significant, if not determining, role in President George Bush's decision to "prematurely" end the Gulf War. Haselkorn argues that this political decision-- in the strategic sense-while seemingly unilateral in nature, was actually a product of Saddam Hussein's strategy of "terrorist deterrence"the adoption of extremist means designed to convey to an enemy a determination to go to any length to win a battle. Though Haselkorn's thesis concerns ending the Gulf War, his critical analysis questions US strategic policy, planning and decision making from the conflict's outset. This critical analysis, with resultant conclusions and implications for future US strategy, makes this book important and thought-provoking.

Haselkorn examines the Iraqi CB threat in detail and speculates on Saddam's strategic calculations concerning their employment. His analysis of Hussein's strategy of terrorist deterrence is compelling. He contends that Iraq's 25 February 1991 launch of an al-Hijarah SCUD missile armed with a concrete warhead, aimed at the Dimona nuclear reactor in Israel was a signal of Saddam's ability and intent to employ CB weapons as well as a continued attempt to draw Israel into the war. …

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