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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 
verification structure.

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:


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