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Deterring Rogue Regimes: Rethinking Deterrence Theory and Practice

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Final rept.

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Iraq represents a significant historical case for assessing the effectiveness of deterrent threats on containing the ambitions of would-be nuclear states. The Conflict Records Research Center CRRC at the National Defense University houses copies of a vast collection of records captured from Saddam Hussein s Iraq during the 2003 Gulf War. These records contain many audio recordings and direct transcripts of high-level meetings between Saddam Hussein and his advisors and senior cabinet, shedding unprecedented light on Saddam s thinking throughout the life of Iraq s nuclear program and the two Gulf Wars. These records allow for a more thorough understanding of the motivations and intentions of Iraq s nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons programs, the non-use of chemical weapons in the 1991 Gulf War, and what effect U.S. deterrent capabilities and threats had on Iraq s actions. With funding from the Naval Postgraduate School s Project on Advanced Systems and Concepts for Countering WMD, Scott D. Sagan at the Center for International Security and Cooperation CISAC at Stanford University undertook a project to facilitate the translation and analysis of sources from the CRRC archives to learn lessons about preventing proliferation and deterring WMD use and to discuss these lessons with U.S. government officials. The project succeeded in improving our understanding of Iraqi decision-making regarding WMD and deterrence, and provided comparative lessons to be learned from this history for U.S. nuclear weapons policy toward new and potential nuclear weapons proliferators. This project had four categories of deliverables translation of documents, commissioning of documents analysis papers, hosting of workshops to discuss lessons learned, and policy outreach efforts. All were achieved.

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  • Government and Political Science

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