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Bush Abandons Biological Weapons Inspection Agreement by Devon Chaffee, September 27, 2002
Nicht direkt infowar, aber die Art wie das Weisse Haus diesen Schritt
darstellt ist dreist.
Bush Abandons Biological
Weapons Inspection Agreement
by Devon Chaffee, September 27, 2002
Last week the Bush administration announced that it has no intention of
cooperating with international efforts to verify compliance to the
Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). This latest move in a series of
similar policy decisions indicates a disinterest in weapons inspections
and brings into question the Bush administration?s commitment to a
comprehensive regime of nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
In December 2001 the Bush administration rejected a draft Protocol to
the BWC and pulled out of protocol negotiations, stating that it would
return in a year with creative solutions to solve the negotiation impasse.
The promised innovative solutions, however, were never proposed.
Instead, the Bush administration stated last week that it had abandoned
any efforts to come to an agreement over the protocol and that it would
not return to discussions over the BWC until 2006, when the next review
conference of the treaty is scheduled. As an alternative to the protocol
the administration only offered guidelines for unilateral measures that
countries can take to reinforce the BWC, with no international
The BWC announcement follows the Bush administration?s opposition to a
verification structure for the recent strategic nuclear weapons
reduction treaty with Russia, as well as displays of relative
ambivalence about United Nations inspections in Iraq and recent signs
that North Korea may be ready to allow unfettered inspections by the
International Atomic Energy Agency. Cuba has also recently announced its
intention to sign on to the Non-proliferation Treaty, further evidence
that US designated ?rogues? are noting the importance of participating
in multilateral non-proliferation efforts.
International inspections have served as indispensable instruments of
treaty verification, assuring countries that arms control agreements are
indeed being adhered to. Without enforcement measures the weight of any
international treaty is greatly reduced.
Bush?s short-term enforcement alternative to inspection regimes seems to
be the use of pre-emptive, unilateral force. This policy, however, falls
short of a sustainable solution. Threatening a US invasion of every
country suspected of developing weapons of mass destruction is
impractical, inconsistent with international laws and norms, and
unacceptable to the international community.
Refusing to participate in reciprocal regimes de-legitimizes all US
stated commitments to non-proliferation efforts and creates an
atmosphere of distrust is likely to agitate, not ameliorate, the
perceived need for state actors to possess weapons of mass destruction.
Representatives from the international community have put decades of
work into trying to develop lasting systems that would rein in the
unnecessary threat caused by weapons of mass destruction. It is true
that the regimes negotiated are not ideal and could be improved upon
through creative diplomacy. The Bush administration, however, seems
intent on unraveling the fruits of these nonproliferation and
disarmament efforts while offering no sustainable alternative.
For an in-depth critique of the Bush administrations policy towards the
BWC see: http://www.stimson.org/pubs.cfm?ID=66
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