The most important single conclusion of the preceding analysis is that Iraq’s ‘‘war of sanctions’’—and its continuing efforts to proliferate—create a continuing problem that the UN can limit while sanctions are still in force but cannot hope to end. Iraq will continue to attempt to proliferate as long as Saddam Hussein or any similar leader is in charge. Its efforts will also be far reaching and opportunistic. Iraq’s weapons developments, force plans, strategy, doctrine, and war plans are far more likely to be driven by its ability to create new opportunities rather than by any combination of ideology, long-term plans or strategy, or a coherent focus on one path to proliferation in exclusion of another.
The Iraqi leadership can be counted on to block inspections as long as it can and to create new barriers at every opportunity. It can be counted on to continue to exploit ‘‘sanctions fatigue’’ in any way it can. It will exploit the suffering of the Iraqi people to try to make the world ignore the risks of Iraqi rearmament and proliferation. It will exploit divisions within the UN Security Council, and every weakness in the UN inspection and export control effort. It will treat proliferation as Iraq’s second-most important strategic priority, ranking only after the survival of the leadership itself. It will seek to undermine and put a final end to the inspection phase of the IAEA and UNSCOM effort, and to either ensure that there is no monitoring phase or that it is rigid and symbolic and is not backed by inspections and the expansion of monitoring to cover new facilities. As the events of October, 1997–October, 1998 show, it may well be willing to lose some equipment to US and British air and missile strikes if it believes this is the price of making the IAEA and UNSCOM ineffective. Similarly, the Iraqi leadership may well be willing to sacrifice substantial amounts of Iraq’s con-