Countering the Proliferation of Chemical Weapons
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
Pagination or Media Count:
For more than a decade, the U.S. government has been grappling with the question of chemical-weapon proliferation along with the associated problems of missile and nuclear-weapon proliferation. The Ceneva Protocol of 1925 banned the first use but not the production, transfer, or storage of chemical weapons. The extensive chemical-weapon arsenal of the former Soviet Union was the primary chemical-weapon threat to the United States fron the start of the Cold War in the early 1950s, and thus drove U.S. chemical-weapon policy. The United States finally ratified the Geneva Protocol in 1975. Iraqs use of chemical weapons in its war with Iran in the 1980s stimulated the United states to improve its export controls of chemicals used to make chemical weapons. With the demise of the Soviet Union as a military threat to the United states and its European allies, and Russias willingness to honor the 1990 U.S.-Soviet agreement to destroy their respective chemical-weapon stockpiles, U.S. policy focused on the proliferation and use of chemical weapons among third-world rations, particularly in the Middle East. Chemical weapons have occasionally been used in violation of the Ceneva Protocol over the past decades, most extensively by Iraq in its war with Iran. In the past, however, U.S. policies for control of chemical-weapon proliferation had a lower priority than those for control of more threatening nudear weapons and balistic missiles.
- Government and Political Science
- Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare