A collection of articles, essays and interviews on the threats posed by chemical weapons. The reader focuses on the future of chemical weapons control effors.
During a March 19 speech marking the fifth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, President George W. Bush warned of consequences for the early removal of U.S. forces from that country. These, he said, could include the possibility that a withdrawal would indirectly help al Qaeda acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Meanwhile, Vice President Dick Cheney seemed to indicate that Iran was pursuing the development of weapons-grade uranium, a claim contrary to international inspection findings. (Continue)
I hear a dull thud. A blue mist comes floating across the frosty fields. In the field behind the cemetery, the DOVO, the Belgian War Munition Demolition Service, has blown up another heap of First World War ammunition. They do it twice a day, one and a half tons a year. When the farmers find grenades, they leave them at the base of the utility masts, and the miners collect them. And so it goes on here. Generation after generation, this soil continues to vomit up grenades, buttons, buckles, knives, skulls, bottles, rifles, sometimes even a whole tank. The Great War never ends. (Continue)
When states-parties to the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) gather next month in The Hague for their second review conference, the plenary sessions will be unusually full, and for good reason. Since the ban on developing, producing, stockpiling, transferring, or using chemical weapons entered into force in April 1997, the CWC has won support at an unprecedented rate for a multilateral arms control agreement. (Continue)
Almost two decades after the end of the Iran-Iraq War, the conflict’s chemical weapons legacy lingers in the streets of Ramadi and in courtrooms throughout the world. Iranian, Kurdish, and U.S. victims of Iraq’s chemical weapons are seeking judicial redress. At the same time, the Iraqi special tribunal has sentenced three key perpetrators to death. (Continue)