Arms Control after Iraq: Normative and Operational Challenges

Sample Chapter
  • Edited Waheguru Pal Singh Sidhu and Ramesh Thakur

    ISBN-10: 92-808-1131-2,
    ISBN-13: 978-92-808-1131-5
    United Nations University Press
    November 2006

    The stated reason for invading Iraq was its alleged clandestine pursuit of weapons of mass destruction in defiance of UN resolutions. Even though the allegation was proven false, the international community remains preoccupied with the threat of the proliferation and use of such terrible weapons. This has three interlinked components: non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament.

    Some countries, from within the shelter of the NPT, could either develop a full-fledged weapons capability, covertly and illegally, or else acquire all the materials and expertise needed for a weapons programme and withdraw from the treaty when they are ready to proceed with weaponization. There is good reason to fear the erosion and possible collapse of the whole NPT regime over the longer term: treaties already negotiated and signed could unravel through non-ratification or breakouts; the testing of nuclear weapons could be resumed; and there is a lengthening list of proliferation-sensitive countries of concern.

    Both the 2004 NPT Review Conference and the UN World Summit in 2005 failed to address the urgent challenge of arms control. The questions discussed in this book include doctrinal issues regarding the use of force in general; the implications of a shift in the utility of nuclear weapons from deterrence to compellence and of a focus on non-proliferation to the neglect of disarmament; the place and role of the United Nations in controlling the spread and use of WMD; the regional dynamics of proliferation concerns in North-east Asia and the Middle East; the policy drivers of the NPT and extra-NPT nuclear powers; and the threats posed by the possible acquisition of nuclear weapons and missiles by non-state actors.

    Waheguru Pal Singh Sidhu is a Faculty Member at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, Switzerland. Ramesh Thakur is the Senior Vice-Rector of the United Nations University, Japan, and an Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations.

    Table of contents

    Managing the nuclear threat after Iraq: Is it time to replace the NPT paradigm?

    Part I: Strategic doctrine, norms of non-proliferation and disarmament, and world order

    • The use of force in international politics: Four revolutions
    • From deterrence to compellence: Doctrinal implications of the Iraq crisis
    • “Do as I say, not as I do”: From nuclear non-proliferation to counter- proliferation

    Part II: The centrality of the United Nations in non-proliferation and disarmament?

    • The Security Council’s role in addressing WMD issues: Assessment and outlook
    • Dealing with WMD crises: The role of the United Nations in compliance politics
    • Lessons of UNSCOM and UNMOVIC for WMD non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament Why we got it wrong: Attempting to unravel the truth of bioweapons in Iraq

    Part III: Proliferation challenges and international responses in North-east Asia

    • Nuclear threat reliance in East Asia
    • Non-proliferation after 9/11 and beyond: A Japanese perspective

    Part IV: Proliferation challenges and international responses in the Middle East

    • From bomb to fuel! Iran and the question of weapons of mass destruction
    • Arab perspectives on the question of WMD proliferation in the Middle East An Egyptian perspective

    Part V: The permanent five: Part of the problem or devising new solutions?

    • An American perspective: The US response to proliferation in weapons of mass destruction
    • UK perspectives on WMD proliferation, arms control, disarmament and use by non-state actors
    • Nuclear non-proliferation after Iraq: A French perspective
    • Russia’s perspectives on the world order and WMD proliferation
    • China’s perspectives on WMD proliferation, arms control, disarmament and related threats from non-state actors

    Part VI: The other nuclear powers and the non-proliferation regime

    • Nuclear disarmament, nuclear proliferation and WMD proliferation: An Indian perspective
    • Israel’s updated perspective on WMD proliferation, arms control, disarmament and related threats from non-state actors

    Part VII: Broadening the scope of the non-proliferation regime

    • Nuclear threats from non-state actors
    • Managing missiles after Iraq: Going off course

    Conclusion: Managing nuclear threats after Iraq


    • Ramesh Thakur
    • Kalevi J. Holsti
    • Kennedy Graham
    • Rebecca Johnson
    • Tsutomu Kono
    • Harald Miller
    • Trevor Findlay
    • Patricia Lewis
    • Wade L. Huntley
    • Heigo Sato
    • Jalil Roshandel
    • Mohammad El-Sayed Selim
    • Mohamed Shaker
    • Damon Coletta
    • John Simpson
    • Philippe Errera
    • Andrei Zagorski
    • Dingli Shen
    • Jiadong Zhang
    • Gopalaswami Parthasarathy
    • Shlomo Brom
    • William C. Potter
    • Christophe Carle
    • Waheguru Pal Singh Sidhu
    • Cyrus Samii