From the CIAO Atlas Map of Middle East 

email icon Email this citation


The Never-Ending Iraqi Crisis: Dual Containment and the “New World Order”

Bjørn Møller

March 1999

Copenhagen Peace Research Institute

For presentation at the conference on Urging a Dialogue Between Civilizations The Islamic Republic of Iran Twenty Years after the Revolution Department of Middle East Studies, Odense University, 18-19 February 1999 and at the author’s symposium on Persian Gulf Security in Copenhagen, 10-11 March 1999

Preliminary version. Not for Quotation. Comments welcome


Since the autumn of 1997 the world has seen an intense international dispute over Iraq, which culminated in December 1998 in a new war: Operation Desert Fox, which has been followed by almost daily bombardments of military targets in Iraq by the United States and Great Britain.

In the following these events shall be analyzed from several different angles: The analysis of the legal, strategic and political aspects of the crisis 1 is followed by a tentative analysis of the accompanying discourse. The paper concludes by sketching an alternative to the present American strategy of “dual containment”.


1. Legal Analysis

There is little doubt that Iraq was in blatant violation of the 1991 ceasefire agreement in general and of the famous “mother of all resolutions”, UNSCR 687 (3 April 1991) in particular, in which the extent and modalities of the disarmament of the defeated aggressor were detailed: 2

The Security Council.....
8. Decides that Iraq shall unconditionally accept the destruction, removal, or rendering harmless, under international supervision, of:
a) all chemical and biological weapons and all stocks of agents and all related subsystems and components and all research, development, support and manufacturing facilities;
b) all ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometres...
34. Decides to remain seized of the matter and to take such further steps as may be required for the implementation of this resolution and to secure peace and security in the area.

The main issue of controversy has, paradoxically, not so much been Iraq’s actual holdings of the proscribed weapons as the international supervision of their destruction. Iraq has on several occasions placed obstacles in the way of, and eventually even completely refused access to, the UN’s appointed representatives, i.e. the inspectors of UNSCOM (United Nations Special Commission). In response, the United States began threatening, as well as materially planning for, a military campaign against Iraq in early 1998. After a year’s Iraqi provocations and US threats, the crisis was escalated, as the US and the UK launched Operation Desert Fox, subsequent to which Iraq demanded the total and irreversible withdrawal of UNSCOM. At the time of writing it seems very unlikely that the inspectors will ever be allowed to return—also because both Russia and France are working for a new inspection regime. 3

Even though it does not legally justify Iraq’s behaviour, it has recently been revealed that Iraq was basically correct when it accused UNSCOM of allowing itself to be abused as a cover for espionage. 4 This might surely be accepted as a significant mitigating circumstance, especially in view of the strong probability that information gathered by these illicit means was used for the subsequent aggression against Iraq.

The Iraqi violations of resolution 687 and others notwithstanding, both the US and British threats and their subsequent implementation represented clear breaches of international law, in casu nothing less than the UN Charter. This states unequivocally that not merely the actual use of force, but also the mere threat thereof is illegal, regardless of the underlying intentions. The only institution with the right to use, or mandate the use of force is the UN Security Council, as clearly stated in the Charter. 5

Article 4(2): All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

Article 24(1): In order to ensure prompt and effective action by the United Nations, its Members confer on the Security Council primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and agree that in carrying out its duties under this responsibility the Security Council acts on their behalf.

Article 39: The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security.

Article 42: Should the Security Council consider that measures provided for in Article 41 would be inadequate or have proved to be inadequate, it may take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the United Nations.

The advocates of military intervention (the United States, followed by the UK and various other countries, including Denmark) have argued that prior Security Council resolutions entailed an “implicit authorization” to use force, referring primarily to UNSCR 678 (29 November 1990):

The Security Council.....
2. Authorizes Member States co-operating with the Government of Kuwait, unless Iraq on or before 15 January 1991 fully implements... the foregoing resolutions, to use all necessary means to uphold and implement Security Council resolution 660 (1990)b and all subsequent relevant resolutions and to restore international peace and security in the area.
4. Requests the States concerned to keep the Council regularly informed on the progress of actions undertaken pursuant to paragraphs 2 and 3 of this resolution.

This reading of the resolution, however, does not seem tenable, above all because it clearly refers to a previous resolution (UNSCR 660 of 2 August 1990), which had nothing to do with the disarmament of Iraq, but only with a condition that had already been met, namely the restoration of the sovereignty of Kuwait.

The Security Council.....
2. Demands that Iraq withdraw immediately and unconditionally all of its forces to the positions in which they were located on 1 August 1990.

Even though several subsequent resolutions have condemned Iraq for non-compliance, none of them have contained anything that might be construed as an authorization to use force (for a complete list see Table 1) 6 .

The world was thus in February 1998 heading towards a clear breach of international law perpetrated by two of the Security Council’s permanent members. This threatened to seriously undermine the UN’s authority, as there would be very little the rest of the UN could do, if only because the US and UK would be able to veto any condemnation in the Security Council, to say nothing of actual reprisals.

Fortunately, however, UN Secretary General Kofi Anan managed to “snatch victory from the claws of defeat”. His negotiations in Baghdad produced a Memorandum of Understanding, dated 23 February 1998, between Iraq and the UN, in which Iraq pledged to “cooperate fully with UNSCOM and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)”, in return for “the commitment of all Member States to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq”. Concretely, Iraq promised “to accord to UNSCOM and IAEA immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access”, but the UN promised to “respect the legitimate concerns of Iraq relating to national security, sovereignty and dignity”, which was to be ensured by having the controversial eight Presidential Sites inspected by a special group headed by a Commissioner appointed by the Secretary-General. The UN further promised to bring the matter of a lifting of sanctions “to the full attention of the members of the Security Council”.

After some haggling in the Security Council, with the United States and Britain pushing for a resolution that would make the use of force an almost automatic response to Iraqi non-compliance, a compromise resolution (UNSCR 1154) was passed on 2 March 1998.

The Security Council,
3. Stresses that compliance by the Government of Iraq with its obligations, repeated again in the memorandum of understanding, to accord immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to the Special Commission and the IAEA in conformity with the relevant resolutions is necessary for the implementation of resolution 687 (1991), but that any violation would have the severest consequences for Iraq;
5. Decides, in accordance with its responsibilities under the Charter, to remain actively seized of the matter, in order to ensure implementation of this resolution, and to ensure peace and security in the area.

While threatening “the severest consequences” of any breach of the agreement, the resolution clearly left the decision to the Security Council of how to respond in case of continued Iraqi obstruction or obfuscation: an interpretation that was not merely logical, but which was also explicitly advocated by Secretary General Anan. 7 In any case, there is no doubt that the Security Council is the supreme authority on the interpretation of its own resolutions, which cannot even be overruled by the ICJ (International Court of Justice), much less by individual states, however powerful. 8

When the US and the UK in December 1998 thus used the report by UNSCOM chairman Richard Butler as the pretext for launching Operation Desert Fox, it was thus, legally speaking, a war of aggression undertaken by two of the permanent members of the Security Council. Not only did the aggressors have no explicit mandate, but the three other permanent members made it abundantly clear that they were opposed to the use of force. The United States and the UK even had the audacity and arrogance to launch the strikes while the Council was in session and in the midst of its deliberations on the matter. In Russian President Yeltsin’s words:

The resolutions on Iraq adopted by the UN Security Council do not provide any basis whatsoever for actions of this sort. By carrying out unprovoked military action, the USA and Britain have crudely violated the UN Charter and the universally-accepted principles of international law as well as the norms and rules governing the responsible conduct of states in the international arena. The military strike was delivered precisely at the moment when the Security Council was discussing the Iraq problem. This can essentially be regarded as a step that undermines the entire system of international security, of which the UN and its Security Council are the linchpins. 9

Operation Desert Fox was called off on 19 December, but has been followed by two other, almost equally serious, breaches of international law on the part of the United States and to some extent Great Britain:

First of all, the post-war period has seen nearly daily attacks against Iraqi air defence systems in the so-called “No-Fly Zones” in northern and southern Iraq (see map). These zones have no US mandate and thus represent a clear infringement of Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity with their prohibition against both military and civilian flight, combined with a daily patrolling by US, British and (until 1996) French military aircraft. In a Department of Defense News Briefing, 26 January, 1999, it was claimed that

The zones, created after the Gulf War, were mandated by U.N. Security Council Resolutions 678, 687, and 688 to deter Iraq’s use of aircraft against its people and its neighbors.

In fact, however, none of the quoted resolutions mention the zones at all. UNSCR 678 (29 November 1990) authorized the use of force to evict Iraq from Kuwait; UNSCR 687 mandated Iraq’s disarmament, yet without any authorization to use force; and UNSCR 688 condemned “the repression of the Iraqi civilian population in many parts of Iraq, including most recently in Kurdish populated areas”, demanded “that Iraq, as a contribution to remove the threat to international peace and security in the region, immediately end this repression” and insisted “that Iraq allow immediate access by international humanitarian organizations to all those in need of assistance in all parts of Iraq and to make available all necessary facilities for their operations”. Not only was there no mention of no-fly zones, but the resolution explicitly reaffirmed “the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of Iraq”.

Secondly, the Clinton Administration has begun implementing the Iraq Liberation Act of 5 October 1998, which says that

It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime.

This included, in addition to support for propaganda and humanitarian purposes, also military assistance, including “defense articles” (i.e. weapons), military education and training for insurgents, to an amount not exceeding 97 million dollars. 10

Whatever one may think of the Iraqi regime and hope that it will one day be replaced by a democracy, for one state to thus explicitly declare its intention to remove another state’s government by military means (among others), is a clear violation of the UN Charter, as well as of several UN Security Council resolutions, all of which have pledged respect for Iraq’s sovereignty. The Iraq Liberation Act is also a violation of the UN General Assembly’s Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention in the Domestic Affairs of States and the Protection of Their Independence and Sovereignty, which was adopted in 1965 with only one abstention (the UK, but not the United States), and in which it was stated:

No state has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other state. Consequently, armed intervention and all other forms of interference or attempted threats against the personality of the State or against its political, economic and cultural elements are condemned. 11

The United States has thus been in clear breach of international law in several respects during the protracted Iraqi crisis. That this crisis is not an isolated exception to a general rule of law-abidance shall be argued and documented below.

Table 1. UN Security Council Resolutions on Iraq/Kuwait, 1990-1998
 No.  Date  Topic  Decision
660 02.08 Iraqi invasion of K. Demand withdrawal
661 06.08 Occupation of K. Embargo against Iraq
662 09.08 Annexation of K. Declare null and void
664 18.08 Hostages Demand right to leave
665 25.08 Non-compliance Impose naval blockade
666 13.09 Humanitarian Authorize food/medicine supply
667 16.09 Diplomatic staff Demand release
669 24.09 Side-effects of sanctions 12 Examine requests for assistance
670 25.09 Sanctions Implementation measures
674 29.10 Foreign nationals Demand release/human rights
677 28.11 Demographic manipulation in Kuwait Retain copy population register
678 29.11 Iraqi non-compliance with former resolutions Authorization to use “all necessary means to uphold and implement resolution 660 (1990) and all subsequent relevant resolutions and to restore international peace and security in the area”
686 02.03 End of war Demand release of POWs, reparations, etc.
687 03.04 End of war Demand demarcation of Iraq-Kuwait border; removal of, and promise not to acquire, chemical and biological weapons, ballistic missiles with ranges > 500 km. under international supervision; full compliance with the NPT; special commission to supervise
688 05.04 Repression of Kurds Condemn, demand stop to repression, appeals to all member states for humanitarian relief
689 09.04 Report on Res. 687 Set out modalities for implementation
692 20.05 Reparations Establishment of Fund
699 17.06 Disarmament of Iraq Implementation of Res. 687
700 17.06 Disarmament of Iraq Implementation of Res. 687
705 15.08 Reparations Sets out reparations as share of oil revenues
706 15.08 Health situation Authorizes “Oil for Food” programme
707 15.08 Non-compliance Res. 687 Demands compliance
712 19.09 Oil for Food Specifies implementation
715 11.10 IAEA/Special Commission Specifies modalities
773 26.08 Iraq-Kuwait border Specifies modalities of demarcation
778 02.10 Humanitarian needs Demands compliance with “Oil for Food”
806 05.02 Border incidents Authorizes redeployment of UNIKOM
833 27.05 Border demarcation finished Demands compliance
899 04.03 Border demarcation Unfreezes private Iraqi assets
949 15.10 Troop movements Demands withdrawal
986 14.04 Humanitarian needs Specifies Oil for Food implementation
1051 27.03 Iraqi imports Regulates imports of dual-use items
1060 12.06 UNSCOM Inspections Demands unimpeded access
1111 04.06 Oil for Food Extends program, specifies regulations
1115 21.06 UNSCOM Inspections Demands unimpeded access
1129 12.09 Oil for Food Extends program, specifies regulations
1134 23.10 UNSCOM Inspections Demands unimpeded access
1137 12.11 UNSCOM Inspections Demands unimpeded access
1143 04.12 Oil for Food Extends program, specifies regulations
1153 20.02 Oil for Food Extends program, specifies regulations
1154 02.03 SG’s mediation Demands access to presidential sites, etc.
1158 25.03 Oil for Food Extends program, specifies regulations
1175 19.06 Oil for Food Extends program, specifies regulations
1194 09.09 UNSCOM Inspections Demands unimpeded access
1205 05.11 UNSCOM Inspections Demands unimpeded access
1210 24.11 Oil for Food Extends program, specifies regulations


2. Strategic Analysis

The crisis had thus seen some very “creative” attempts at reinterpretation of international law, as well as quite explicit breaches of it. However, all of this might (perhaps) have been justified, if the prevailing assessment of the severity of the problem had been true, in which case a bending or breach of the rules might have been necessary. 13 Unfortunately, this does seem to be the case.

The crux of the matter was Iraq’s refusal of access for UNSCOM to the presidential sites and various other locations, where it was believed it might conceal either actual weapons of mass destruction or production facilities for WMDs, i.e. for either chemical or biological weapons, or both. The question is whether the implicit danger was serious enough to warrant a breach of international law.

Chemical weapons, to be sure, certainly have some very unappealing features. Except for very unlikely scenarios (such as very accurate strikes against very dense congregations of unprotected victims), however, the damage they can produce is fairly modest. In other words, quite large quantities are required for chemical weapons to really deserve the label “weapons of mass destruction”—quantities which it would be hard for Iraq to conceal, and even harder to deliver to the envisaged target. Ballistic missiles generally have too limited throw-weights to be suitable for such missions, while aircraft are better, albeit less sure to be able to penetrate the air defence array of the target. Finally, a wide range of protective measures are available, which are cumbersome but quite effective.

Biological weapons are, in principle at least, genuine weapons of mass destruction, 14 as some of them (anthrax, for instance) can cause infections of epidemic proportions. Moreover, the small quantities required makes it easy to conceal them—the more so, the less stringent the safety precautions taken by the possessor. There are, however, several drawback to any use of biological weapons:

There have been speculations about genetic engineering to overcome some of these problems, but this would surely require a level of sophistication beyond that available to a country such as Iraq, especially when under close and intrusive supervision. 16

Even if Iraq should succeed in producing significant stockpiles of chemical and/or biological weapons, it is hard to fathom what would be their possible utility, even in the hands of a ruthless dictator like Saddam Hussein. A few possibilities immediately spring to mind, but none of them (with the possible exception of no. 1) seem to make much sense:

  1. As a “defensive deterrent”, i.e. intended to protect Iraq against an attack with unlimited objectives, posing an “existential” threat to the country or regime. This would, however, only be relevant in case such a threat exists.

  2. As an “offensive deterrent”, under the protection of which Iraq might launch a conventional attack, taking advantage of its possession of WMDs to neutralize the deterrent effects of WMDs in the hands of the victim of aggression or its allies. This would, however, only really matter against conventionally inferior opponents, while Iraq would undoubtedly be up against a crushing conventional superiority in the event of a renewed attack against Kuwait or other neighbours.

  3. As a means of “offensive compellence”, where Iraq would use the threat of strikes with WMDs (i.e. “WMD blackmail”) to compel another state to concessions. The entire case for such blackmail is, however, extremely vague and could probably safely be dismissed as a figment of the imagination, especially in the case of its use against countries aligned with a nuclear-armed superpower. 17

  4. As a political “bargaining chip”, which Saddam might “cash in” for concessions such as, for instance, a complete lifting of sanctions—perhaps in analogy with what may have been the North Korean strategy underlying its threat to withdraw from the NPT. 18 As such a lifting of sanctions is preconditioned on Iraqi compliance with UNSCR 687, however, any clandestine development that would automatically be labelled as non-compliance would seem to defeat its purpose.

While all of the above might make some strategic sense, the purpose most often alluded to would not, namely terror bombardments against neighbouring countries. The stigma that is attached to biological weapons would deprive the country using them of all, or at least most, international support. It might further help lifting the taboo against nuclear first-use, implying that a biological attack could provoke nuclear retaliation—as has been intimated by both Israel and the United States. Why should the deterrence strategy on which the national security of both the United States and NATO was premised throughout the Cold War not work against a foe such as Iraq which is, after all, much less of a threat than the mighty Soviet Union?

While it would thus be cynical to trivialize B and C weapons, they cannot really compare with the actual nuclear weapons that are deployed by, inter alia, the United States, the UK and Israel, but which have been almost completely forgotten in the uproar over potential Iraqi WMDs. Moreover, to the extent that B and C weapons are regarded as a serious danger, the most promising approach to solving the problem would be negotiations on the establishment of a zone free of WMDs covering the entire Middle East/Persian Gulf region. 19 This would surely have been preferable to an attack in breach of international law such as Operation Desert Fax.

This operation involved more than 30,000 U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf and 10,000 more from outside Central Command; more than 600 sorties; and more than 40 ships performing strike and support roles, launching more than 300 cruise missiles (to say nothing of the British contribution). 20 Its objectives were never made entirely clear, but the following were mentioned by President Clinton in his announcement of the operation:

They are designed to degrade Saddam’s capacity to develop and deliver weapons of mass destruction, and to degrade his ability to threaten his neighbours. At the same time, we are delivering a powerful message to Saddam. If you act recklessly, you will pay a heavy price. (...) The credible threat to use force, and when necessary, the actual use of force, is the surest way to contain Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction programme, curtail his aggression and prevent another Gulf War.

When calling off the campaign four days later, he declared that

We began with this basic proposition—Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to develop nuclear arms, poison gas, biological weapons or the means to deliver them (...) We have inflicted significant damage on Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction programmes, on the command structures that direct and protect that capability, and on his military and security infrastructure. 21

In his testimony to the Senate Armed Forces Committee 28 January 1999, General Anthony C. Zinni, the military officer who commands American forces in the Arabian Gulf and who directed Desert Fox operations claimed that

Our objectives for this operation were: reduce Iraq’s capability to produce WMD; degrade strategic and tactical command and control facilities, damage industrial infrastructure used for the smuggling of gas and oil; and the overall reduction of Iraq’s capability to threaten its neighbors in the region. Primary targets struck during Operation DESERT FOX were installations associated with development of WMD, units providing security to IKMD programs, and Iraq’s national command and control network. Additional targets included selected Republican Guard facilities, airfields, and the Basrah oil refinery that was involved in production of illegal gas and oil exports. Iraq’s integrated air defenses and surface-to-air missiles (SAM) sites were also heavily struck in order to ensure the safety of coalition aircraft. Due to the destruction of key facilities and specialized equipment, we assess that Iraq’s ballistic missile program has been set back one to two years. Several of Iraq’s most sensitive security units suffered attrition and the Iraqi command and control network was disrupted, with some degradation remaining today. Regarding the success of Operation DESERT FOX, over 80 percent of the designated targets were hit and damaged. Additionally, every security unit attacked suffered damage. Iraqi claims of civilian casualties and collateral damage remain unsubstantiated. Finally, these successes were realized with no casualties to our coalition forces.

There thus seem to have been, at least, four different objectives:

  1. destroying Iraq’s WMDs;
  2. hampering Iraq’s production of WMD’s;
  3. compelling Saddam Hussein to comply with the UN’s requests;
  4. deposing Saddam Hussein.

Laudable though (some of) these goals may be, the selected strategy seems entirely unsuitable to achieve any of them.

   ad 1) A destruction of the presumed Iraqi stocks of biological and/or chemical weapons is virtually impossible, even with the high-precision concrete-penetrating missiles shown in the media, as surgical strikes presuppose the availability of accurate and reliable target coordinates. While such would be available for possible production sites for nuclear weapons (as demonstrated by the Israeli attack against the Ossirac nuclear reactor), production sites for B and C weapons could be much more dispersed and easily moved. In fact, this was exactly what the US accused Saddam of doing: delaying access for the inspection teams and in the meantime moving the proscribed materials to other locations. Finally, even in the hypothetical event that the attacks should actually succeed in destroying all existing stocks and production facilities, there could never be any complete certainty thereof.

   ad 2) Striking at the presumed locations might be partially successful, but would have to be followed up with renewed strikes ad infinitum. This would be a form of gradual attrition and would surely do something to hamper and postpone any Iraqi access to WMDs, but there would also be drawbacks:

   ad 3) It was surely conceivable that one or several series of air strikes against important targets in Iraq might have compelled Iraq into submission. However, what if it did not, but Saddam remained recalcitrant in the face of attack that were massive but not fatal? It does not appear that the United States had any strategy to guide its air strike tactics, as this would have to entail plans for several rounds of moves and counter-moves.

The strategy of gradual escalation was attempted by both the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations during the Vietnam War, but to absolutely no avail. Eventually the United States had to withdraw and accept defeat, leaving behind it a trail of destruction of both Vietnamese society and environment. 24 This was surely not a strategy for emulation, but the US nevertheless seems to have settled for a similar strategy of gradual attrition today.

   ad 4) It might have been possible to depose Saddam, either by means of successful “surgical” strikes against his presumed whereabout (the Presidential palaces, for instance) or by marching all the way to Baghdad. Indeed, several observers have argued that it was a mistake not to have proceeded to the Iraqi capital in 1991—but better late than never! 25

The concrete implications of the Iraq Liberation Act remain undecided, but it seems very doubtful that it will succeed in bringing to (and maintaining in) power a viable replacement for Saddam Hussein.


3. Political Analysis

Even if successful according to the above criteria, an attack is likely to have severe negative repercussions, both regionally and globally.

First of all, any attack without UNSC authorization is a blatant violation of the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 as well as of the UN Charter and other elements of international law, as argued above. International law explicitly proscribes war, and does so in the form of a general prohibition with certain explicit exceptions: Only wars of self-defence and of collective security are permitted, and in both cases the legitimacy is conditional upon Security Council approval, either ex ante or ex post. 27 This outlawing of war constitutes one of the most significant advances in the progressive civilizing of international relations. Just compare the present situation with that of the 19th century when war was a matter of expediency: If the prospects of success were high enough, it was regarded as perfectly legitimate (perhaps even imperative) to go to war for political goals, such as territorial expansion. A violation of these rules thus contributes to making war, once again, a legitimate means to political ends, and the more so as it could not even be condemned by the United Nations (if only because of predictable US and British vetoes), whereby a most unfortunate precedent has been set. What should prevent other states from using war as a means to their political ends in the future, if only they have the requisite military strength?

Secondly, the assembled anti-Iraqi coalition has crumbled significantly compared to that of 1990/91. There were no attempts at enlisting regional support prior to Operation Desert Fox, and no discernible interest in creating a regional coalition which might, in due course, come to constituted a regional collective security system in embryo. Instead, the US-British “coalition” must have looked very much like a real-life manifestation of the Huntingtonian vision of a war of “the West against the rest” 28 , yet with the unfortunate twist that “the West” was cast in the role of the aggressor.

The immediate response to this war of aggression were protest rallies in several Arab countries. The longer-term effect could well be stronger anti-western sentiments in the Arab and muslim world (including Turkey), 29 which may well manifest themselves in a growth of radical islamist parties and groupings. As several of the regimes in the region have a fragile basis, it is quite conceivable that some of them (Saudi Arabia, for instance) could be overturned in favour of radical islamist rule—or, even worse, would be replaced by stateless chaos. 30 One could also envisage endangered regimes adopting more repressive means of government (or military rule) as a safeguard against democratic victories for the radicals (as happened in Algeria). A renaissance for pan-Arabist or pan-Islamist policies would also seem a possibility, even though the plethora of rivalries would probably prevent this from proceeding from rhetoric to actual politics. 31

A worst-case scenario would involve a virtual dissolution of Iraq, for instance as a result of the aforementioned political instability caused by a future “Western” (or U.S.) attack aimed at dethroning Saddam—which might escalate to civil war. The Shi’ites in the southern parts of Iraq might secede, perhaps in order to merge with Iran; and the Kurds in northern Iraq might secede to create an independent Kurdistan, which would put further pressure on the other states hosting Kurdish minorities, i.e. Syria, Iran and Turkey. 32 Both eventualities would put severe strains on the already extremely delicate balance of power in the Persian Gulf region, especially if combined with political instability in Saudi Arabia.


4. Discourse Analysis

None of the above political or military strategies make much political sense, not even for a United States that has a track record of choosing disastrous strategies for this particular part of the world (just remember the Nixon Doctrine). 33

An alternative explanation may be that the US is trying to create a new set of rules for the “unipolar moment”, i.e. the rules applying to a “ Pax Americana ”. 34 Perhaps rules bringing to mind those advocated by the Athenians in the famous Melian Dialogue recorded by Thucidides: “the strong do what they have the power to do and the weak accept what they have to accept”. 35 Paradoxically, however, from beginning to end the handling of the Iraqi crisis have been embedded in a discourse on “the New World Order”, the connotations of which are not those of superpower domination, but rather the exact opposite thereof.

In his message to a joint session of the US Congress, 11 September 1990 (i.e. during the “Desert Shield” phase of the Gulf conflict), President George Bush described the “new world order” in the following words:

Out of these troubled times, our fifth objective—a new world order—can emerge: a new era, free from the threat of terror, stronger in the pursuit of justice, and more secure in the quest for peace. An era in which the nations of the world, East and West, North and South, can prosper and live in harmony 36 .

This vision was further elaborated in a similar presidential statement to Congress after the victorious operation Desert Storm, 6 March 1991:

Now we can see a new world coming into view. A world in which there is a very real prospect of a new world order (...) a “world order”, in which “the new principles of justice and fair play.. protect the weak against the strong...” A World where the United Nations, freed from the Cold War stalemate, is poised to fulfil the historic vision of its founders. A world in which freedom and respect for human rights find a home among all nations 37

The Clinton Administration has couched its policies in similar terms. In the White House document of October 1998 A National Security Strategy for a New Century, it was thus stated that

As we approach the beginning of the 21st century, the United States remains the world’s most powerful force for peace, prosperity and the universal values of democracy and freedom. Our nation’s challenge—and our responsibility—is to sustain that role by harnessing the forces of global integration for the benefit of our own people and people around the world (....) At this moment in history, the United States is called upon to lead-to organize the forces of freedom and progress; to channel the unruly energies of the global economy into positive avenues; and to advance our prosperity, reinforce our democratic ideals and values, and enhance our security. 38

Few would disagree with such lofty goals: freedom, justice, peace, human rights, rule of law, etc. In fact the vision is couched in terms that command consent. Even though one may disagree on what the terms imply, one cannot be against “justice” or “freedom”. However, as argued above, the reality underlying this discourse is almost the exact opposite, namely breaches of international law, an undermining of the authority of the United Nations, and a general militarization of international relations.

This conclusion takes us into the somewhat nebulous realm of “discourse analysis”. Even though it is somewhat inspired by the writings of David Campbell and others, the following does not pretend to be a “genuine” analysis of the discourse accompanying the action of the Iraq crisis. 39 The ambition is simply to highlight some paradoxical features of the language used about the crisis, both by politicians and the media.

Some of them can be explained with reference to the findings of what one might call “the social psychology of conflict”:

Others features might be explained with reference to the need of the (American and, to a lesser extent, British) “military industrial complex” (MIC) for an enemy to replace the USSR. Even though defence planning can, in principle, proceed without an enemy, it is much easier with one. 47 Had Saddam Hussein not existed in real life, it would thus have been in the Pentagon’s interest to create him. By combining despotic features and an alien culture (Islam) with “the right size”, he represents “the ideal enemy”.

The social-psychological and the economic explanation are, of course, not mutually exclusive. It is entirely conceivable that the MIC pursues its vested interest by capitalizing on familiar cognitive patters such as the above, inter alia by means of a manipulation of the mass media 48 . However, it is also possible that (at least parts of) the intelligence services and other employees of the MIC have themselves fallen prey to these patters, hence have come to believe in enemy images of their own creation.

Regardless of their explanation, the following are some of the anomalies of the “discourse” on Iraq which is intertwined with the above on the “New World Order”:

A particularly perverse feature of this discourse is the complete inversion of the distinction between offence and defence. “Defence” is usually (on the grand strategic level) synonymous with defending one’s own territory, territorial waters and airspace against invaders or intruders, or (on the lower levels) with “parrying and awaiting a blow” (Clausewitz), while “offence” is tantamount to striking a blow against the defender or even invading. 53 With regard to Iraq, the roles have been inverted, so that Iraq is depicted as “offensive” or even “provocative” when it seeks to defend its airspace against enemy aircraft, while it is portrayed as “defensive” for the US Air Force to strike against ground-based Iraqi air defences—and to do so pre-emptively, i.e. as soon as they turn on their radars, or even just because of their being there. According to the military commander of the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM), Marine General Anthony Zinni, “Iraq’s entire air defense system is a threat to us”, referring mainly to surface-to-air missiles (SAMs). Indeed, on the same occasion, the general complained about early-warning systems as well as optical guidance systems being used “obviously to prevent turning on radars which would make targeting for us much easier”. By implications, for the Iraqi to even receive early warning of US strikes would be “offensive” and “threatening” “We responded within our rules of engagement by defending ourselves and attacking Iraq’s air defense system, including its radars, communications facilities and surface-to-air missile (SAM) batteries”. 54

What has been created by means of practice as well as by the above discourse (and aided and abetted by subservient news media) is an almost “normal situation”, characterized by nearly daily small-scale air attacks against Iraqi military targets, with the inevitable occasional accidental hits on civilian targets (such as Basra, 25 January 1999) which are “regretted”, but trivialized. 55 In this way, both the media and possible opponents gradually lose interest. Even though it would be justified, it is obviously impossible to bring the matter up in the UN Security Council each time—and especially not considering the fact that any motion to condemn would meet with a US veto. The United States may even hope to thereby create some perverted kind of “customary international law”: If something goes virtually unopposed and uncontested for long enough, it may be possible (especially if one is a superpower) to claim that a new set of rules have emerged that justify it ex post facto. This was how the no-fly zones achieved the status they possess, in the eyes of many observers, at least. And certainly, both the media and most politicians have long ago forgotten their actual origins and some have even come to believe that they were mandated by a Security Council resolution in the first place.


5. Rogueness and Dual Containment

A central part of the above discourse has been played by the notion of “rogue states” which has been combined with that of “containment” in the sense that the US strategy is allegedly about “containing the rogues”, in casu Iraq as well as Iran. Closer inspection, however, reveals this strategy as deeply flawed and the discourse about it to be deceptive, as both “rogueness” and “containment” are used in a highly questionable manner.

The containment strategy proposed by George Kennan and others vis-à-vis the Soviet Union and its allies was basically a defensive political strategy. It was based on the assumption (right or wrong) that the USSR was fundamentally expansionist, but rational. Hence, not only did the USSR require containment, it was also basically containable. The means to do so were (nuclear and other forms of) deterrence, defensive alliances and other forms of support to friendly states (or states hostile to the USSR). The more sophisticated versions of the strategy, including that of Kennan himself, placed the main emphasis on political and economic means. The rationale for this was that communist expansion was more likely to be political than military,

hence that political and social stabilization would work in the West’s favour, as it would deprive communism of popular support. 56

During the Cold War, containment was surely taken too far on occasions, for instance when excessive emphasis was placed on factors such a “reputation”, which entailed a need for exhibiting “toughness”, even in non-vital questions; 57 or when the emphasis was erroneously placed on weakening the East rather than strengthening the West, as was the case of the some interpretations of the COCOM regime; 58 or when the political aspects of containment came close to jeopardizing, rather than securing, freedom and democracy. 59

Table 2: Comparative “Rogueness” 60
1997 Military Expenditures (1997 US$) 61
Total (mil.) per capita Total (mil.) per capita Total (mil.) per capita
1,250 56 4,695 68 272,955 1,018
Nuclear Weapons 62
Possession Use Possession Use Possession Use
No 63 No No 64 No Yes 65 (about 8,200) Yes 66 (August 1945)
Chemical Weapons
Probable Yes 67 (Iran-Iraq War, Kurdish insurgents) ? 68 No (?) Yes 69 Yes(?)
(Vietnam 70 )
Biological Weapons
(anthrax, botulinum toxin, aflatoxin)
No ? 71 No No (?) 72 No (?) 73
Missiles (Ballistic or Cruise)
(SCUD 74 )
Yes 75
(Iran-Iraq War, Kuwait War)
Yes 76
Yes 77
(Iran-Iraq War)
(Desert Storm 1991, Iraq 1991-99, Afghanistan 1998, Sudan 1998, Desert Fox 1998)
Aggression or Intervention 78 (1958-99) 79
Yes 80
(Iran 1980, Kuwait 1990)
Yes 81
(Abu Musa, Greater and Lesser Tumbs)
Yes 82
(Lebanon 1958 and 1992, Dominican Republic 1964, Cambodia and Laos 1969-73, Iran 1980, Grenada 1983, Nicaragua 1984, Libya 1986, Panama 1989, Iraq 1991-99, FRY 1995-99
Support for terrorists, armed insurgents or military putchists (1958-99)
Yes 83
(Iranian Kurds, “International Terrorism”)
Yes 84
(Oman 1971, South Yemen 1962-70, Iraq 1967 and 1971, Iraqi Kurds 1972-75, Hizbollah, “International Terrorism”)
Yes 85
(inter alia Cuba 1959-today, Laos 1961-2, Chile 1970-73, Angola 1975, Nicaragua 1981-84 and 1986-88, Iraq 1998-99)

Surely there were also occasional problems with drawing the line between the containment and a “roll back” of communism, for instance during the Korean War or under the Reagan Administration. 86 On balance, however, containment was largely defensive. The Cold War, furthermore, saw plenty of “cooperation among adversaries”, including persistent (and successful) efforts to avoid any direct armed confrontation, an extensive use of arms control, confidence-building measures and summit meetings. 87

Not so in the Persian Gulf region, where the US policy of “dual containment” of the two alleged rogues, Iran and Iraq, has exhibited virtually no cooperative features, has shown very little appreciation of the other side’s legitimate security interests, and where nearly no actual dialogue or negotiations have been attempted. In both cases, US policy has had clear, if not persistent, elements of “roll back” ambitions, 88 as is quite are unconcealed in the US “Iraq Liberation Act of 1998” referred to above.

Moreover, the very notion of “rogueness” appares flawed, as illustrated by the comparison in Table 2 of US with Iranian and Iraqi behaviour along several dimensions. While this shows the United States to be “roguer” than both Iran and Iraq, it even underestimates the “rogueness” of the United States according to her own definition, as it does not take quantitative factors into account for most of the indicators. For instance, not only does the US have more types of missiles than Iraq, her holdings of each type are also, by several orders of magnitude larger.

The surprising conclusion is that the United States scores significantly higher than the two “rogue states” along every single dimension of a “rogueness scale” that it has itself defined. It has defence expenditures vastly in excess of its defence needs; it possesses huge quantities of weapons of mass destruction, and has shown the willingness to also use them; it has on several occasions launched illegal attacks against other states, and it has supported a wide range of (what others would call) terrorists. And it is all documented in open sources.

Another surprising conclusion is that the alleged rogues have behaved most “roguely” precisely when they enjoyed US support, i.e. that the US appears to have (inadvertently, one must assume) invited rogueness rather than deterring or even containing it. All of the Iranian instances of aggression and intervention thus occurred under the auspices of the “Nixon Doctrine” that assigned Iran of the Shah the role of “maintaining order” in the region.


6. Alternatives to Dual Containment

Fortunately, there may be some movement towards a revision of the dual containment strategy. 89 For instance, Pres. Clinton vetoed the Iran Missile Proliferation Act of 1998 with the remarks that

Such indiscriminate sanctioning would undermine the credibility of U.S. non-proliferation policy without furthering U.S. non-proliferation objectives. Indeed, the sweeping application of sanctions likely would cause serious friction with many governments, diminishing vital international cooperation across the range of policy areas—military, political, and economic—on which U.S. security and global leadership depend.

In his accompanying statement, he wrote that

From my conversations with members of Congress, I sense a growing awareness that the vast machinery of U.S. sanctions law has not served our interests well and is in serious need of an overhaul. 90

Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, in a 17 June speech, 91 also struck a conciliatory cord with regard to Iran

We are ready to explore further ways to build mutual confidence and avoid misunderstandings. The Islamic Republic should consider parallel steps. If such a process can be initiated and sustained in a way that addresses the concerns of both sides, then we in the United States can see the prospect of a very different relationship. As the wall of mistrust comes down, we can develop with the Islamic Republic, when it is ready, a road map leading to normal relations. Obviously, two decades of mistrust cannot be erased overnight. The gap between us remains wide. But it is time to test the possibilities for bridging this gap.

If it true that the United States is contemplating a revision of its dual containment strategy, the question of alternative strategies becomes important. In order to conclude this rather depressing paper on an optimistic note, I shall suggest a four-stage process pointing towards a regional security community in an enlarged GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) with no need for any active involvement on the part of the US. Its main stages are outlined in Table 3.

Table 3: Alternatives to Dual Containment
Dual Containment Roll Back
(Militarily, economically)
(Economically, militarily)
Phase 1
(Militarily, defensively)
Phase 2 Normalize
(Security guarantee)
(Security guarantees)
Phase 3 Support
(Security guarantee)
(Security guarantee)
(Security guarantees)
Phase 4 Disregard
(Security community, collective security, general security guarantees)

The rationale is that the present roll-back strategy with regard to Iraq is both counter-productive, superfluous and a humanitarian disaster. It could safely be abandoned in favour of “military containment”, manifested in security guarantees and some military support for the GCC countries and a regulation of arms transfers to Iraq—for which the available arms control regimes (MTCR, NPT, BWC, CWC) should suffice. If need be they might be supplemented with regional (“zone”) arrangements, such as a “WMD-free zone”. 92

Iran simply no longer needs containing, if ever it did. 93 While one cannot entirely discount the hypothesis of Iranian expansionist designs, the facts about its military also lend themselves to a more “innocent” interpretation. First of all, Iran has not yet made up for its wartime losses, and its military strength thus remains inferior to what it was at a time when it was regarded (by the United States at least) as a stabilizing factor. Secondly, the arms acquisitions of the Islamic Republic as well as its military expenditures remain well below those of the GCC. Thirdly, most of Iran’s arms acquisitions have been entirely consistent with defensive intentions. In such an evaluation, one must, in all fairness, take into account that the country must remain fearful of an eventually resurgent Iraq; that it has long borders facing unstable countries such as Afghanistan and some former Soviet republics; and that it must be worried about the new American assertiveness that might even lead to intervention (say, in the name of “counter-proliferation”). 94

With the possible partial exception of the alleged nuclear weapons programme and the ballistic missiles, the “Iranian threat” is thus not so much a military threat 95 as something sui generis, namely a threat of terrorism (to which all countries are vulnerable) and one of “ideological contagion”. Also, there are many indications that Iranian foreign and defence policy has entered, since around 1988 or 1989, a more pragmatic phase, that the terrorist element has been down-played considerably, and that further liberalization is underway after the election of President Khatami. 96 As argued by Jamal S. al-Suwaidi of the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies,

The potential consequences of isolating Iran may adversely affect the security and stability of the region (...) the outlines of a comprehensive regional security regime cannot take shape until tensions between Iran and its Arab neighbours give way to a progressive rapprochement that builds upon mutual interests 97

The more sensible course of action would thus be to integrate Iran into the GCC, under the auspices of which the remaining problems would be easier to solve that with the GCC countries forming a united front against Tehran. Support for the GCC countries may still be needed, but should be limited to strengthening their defensive military capabilities, underpinned by a security guarantee.

In due course, the region could proceed to Phase 2, where relations with Iraq will be normalized. Perhaps this will require a change of regime in Bagdhad, but it should not be assumed that this is a sine qua non. History has seen several dictatorial regimes whose international behaviour has been tempered by a skilful application of deterrence and containment strategies. In order to stabilize the region, outside powers (and especially the United States) might extend security guarantees to Iran of the same sort as those provided to (the rest of) the GCC, which would, at this stage, probably need no further direct military assistance.

Gradually, Phase 2 might evolve into Phase 3 where even Iraq is integrated into the GCC, and where all might be the beneficiaries of security guarantees on the part of the United States and other external powers. At this stage, stability would be ensured, but it may not yet be sufficiently reliable (or believed to be so by the regional states) that the rest of the world, and the United States in particular could completely disengage. The required involvement would, however, be much less extensive and demanding that previously.

In the fullness of time, the region may reach stage 4, where it comes to constitute a security community, implying that the risk of, and preparations for, war have receded into the background. 98 The GCC may thus establish a self-contained regional collective security arrangement that might benefit from, but would not be dependent on, outside support. External powers could thus safely disengage, leaving behind merely a general security guarantee that would most likely never be needed. Contrary to the militarized “New World Order” that was proclaimed by George Bush and which is being created by means of the roll-back strategy of Bill Clinton with the misleading label “dual containment”, the above scenario would fit in well with a more peaceful and progressively demilitarized New World Order for the third millennium.



Note 1: These parts are an expanded and updated version of the appendix to Møller, Bjørn: “Resolving the Security Dilemma in the Persian Gulf. With a postscript on the 1997/98 Iraqi Crisis”, Working Papers, no. 8/1998 (Copenhagen: Copenhagen Peace Research Institute, 1998).  Back.

Note 2: Molander, Johan: “The United Nations and the Elimination of Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Implementation of a Cease-Fire Condition”, in Fred Tanner (ed.): From Versailles to Baghdad: Post-War Armament Control of Defeated States (New York: United Nations/Geneva: UNIDIR, 1992), pp. 137-158; Sur, Serge: “Security Council Resolution 687 of 3 April 1991 in the Gulf Affair: Problems of Restoring and Safeguarding Peace”, Research Papers, no. 12 (New York: UNIDIR); idem (ed.): Disarmament and Arms Limitation Obligations. Problems of Compliance and Enforcement (Aldershot: Dartmouth, 1994), pp. 63-80; Weller, M. (ed.): Iraq and Kuwait: The Hostilities and their Aftermath. Cambridge International Documents, vol. 3 (Cambridge: Grotius Publications, 1993), pp. 8-12, 494-536.  Back.

Note 3: “Russia Wants New Inspection Regime for Iraq”, CNN Interactive, 15 January 1999; “Text of New French Proposal on Iraqi Policy”, ibid., 13. January 1999.  Back.

Note 4: Lippman, Thomas W. & Barton Gellman: “U.S. Says It Collected Iraq Intelligence Via UNSCOM”, Washington Post, 8 January 1999, available at  Back.

Note 5: For an otherwise quite “permissive” (Israeli) interpretation of the Charter to the same effect see Dinstein, Yoram: War, Aggression and Self-Defence. Second Edition (Cambridge: Grotius Publications, Cambridge University Press, 1994), pp. 83-97.  Back.

Note 6: For an elaborate analysis of all the resolutions see White, Nigel: “The Legality of the Threat of Force against Iraq”, Security Dialogue, vol. 30, no. 1 (forthcoming March 1999).  Back.

Note 7: CNN: World News, 8 March 1998, reporting from ABC’s broadcast This Week.  Back.

Note 8: Sohn, Louis B.: “The UN System as Authoritative Interpreter of Its Law”, in Oscar Schachter & Christopher C. Joyner (eds.): United Nations Legal Order, Vols. 1-2 (American Society for International Law and Cambridge: Grotius Publications/Cambridge University Press, 1995), vol. 1, pp. 169-230.  Back.

Note 9: CNN, 17 December 1998.  Back.

Note 10: Public Law 105-338, 105th Congress, sections 3 and 4.a.2.  Back.

Note 11: Murphy, John F.: “Force and Arms”, in Schachter & Joyner: op. cit. (note 8), pp. 247-317, especially pp. 251-265, 277-292 (quotation from p. 248).  Back.

Note 12: Referring to article 50 of the UN Charter: “If preventive or enforcement measures against any state are taken by the Security Council, any other state, whether a Member of the United Nations or not, which finds itself confronted with special economic problems arising from the carrying out of those measures shall have the right to consult the Security Council with regard to a solution of those problems”.  Back.

Note 13: See, e.g., the chapter on “Supreme Emergency” in Walzer, Michael: Just and Unjust Wars. A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations (New York: Basic Books, 1977), pp. 251-268.  Back.

Note 14: See, for instance, Dando, Malcolm: Biological Warfare in the 21st Century (London: Brassey’s, 1994). See also Bailey, Kathleen: “Responding to the Threat of Biological Weapons”, Security Dialogue, vol. 26, no. 4 (December 1995), pp. 383-397; Thränert, Oliver: “Responding to the Threat of Biological Weapons”, ibid., pp. 399-403; Nixdorff, Kathryn: “Gefährdungen durch biologische Agenzien”, S+F. Vierteljahresschrift für Sicherheit und Frieden, vol. 15, no. 4 (1997), pp. 233-240.  Back.

Note 15: Geissler, Erhard & John P. Woodall (eds.): Control of Dual-Threat Agents: The Vaccines for Peace Programme. SIPRI Chemical and Biological Warfare Studies, no. 15 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994).  Back.

Note 16: Geissler, Erhard: “Implications of Genetic Engineering for Chemical and Biological Warfare”, SIPRI Yearbook 1984, pp. 421-454.  Back.

Note 17: On compellence, see Schelling, Thomas C.: The Strategy of Conflict (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1960), pp. 195-199; idem: Arms and Influence (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966), pp. 69-91. On blackmail see Betts, Richard K.: Nuclear Blackmail and Nuclear Balance (Washington D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1987).  Back.

Note 18: Mazarr, Michael J.: North Korea and the Bomb. A Case Study in Nonproliferation (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1994); Reiss, Mitchell: Bridled Ambitions. Why Countries Constrain Their Nuclear Capabilities (Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 1995), pp. 231-319; Kihl, Young Whan: “Confrontation or Compromise? Lessons from the 1994 Crisis”, in idem & Peter Hayes (eds.): Peace and Security in Northeast Asia. The Nuclear Issue and the Korean Peninsula (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1997), pp. 181-204.  Back.

Note 19: See, for instance, Prawitz, Jan & Jim Leonard: A Zone Free of Weapons of Mass Destruction in the Middle East, publication no. UNIDIR/96/24 (Geneva: UNIDIR and New York: UN, 1996).  Back.

Note 20: Press briefing by Army Gen. Hugh Shelton, American Forces Press Service, 6 January 1999.  Back.

Note 21: Both quotations are from the CNN’s homepage.  Back.

Note 22: “Turkey Reportedly Criticizes some U.S. Strikes in Iraq”, CNN Interactive, 29 January 1999; “US Warns Iraq against Attacks”, BBC Online Network, 16 February 1999.  Back.

Note 23: The most systematic analysis of this is the herostratically famous 44-rung “escalation ladder”, developed by Kahn, Herman: On Escalation. Metaphors and Scenarios (London: Pall Mall Press, 1965), pp. 50-51, 194-195. Similar ideas influenced air power doctrines in the interwar years. See, e.g. Douhet, Giulio: The Command of the Air (New York: Coward-McCann, 1942); Warner, Edward: “Douhet, Mitchell, Seversky: Theories of Air Warfare”, in Edward Mead Earle (ed.): Makers of Modern Strategy. Military Thought from Machiavelli to Hitler (New York: Atheneum, 1970), pp. 485-503; MacIsaac, David: “Voices From the Central Blue: The Air Power Theorists”, in Peter Paret (ed.): Makers of Modern Strategy. From Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age (Princeton N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1986), pp. 624-647; Brodie, Bernard: Strategy in the Missile Age (Princeton N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1959), pp. 71-106.  Back.

Note 24: Gibson, James William: The Perfect War. The War We Couldn’t Lose and How We Did. (New York: Vintage Books, 1988); Clodfelter, Mark: The Limits of Air Power. The American Bombing of North Vietnam (New York: The Free Press, 1989). On the impact of defoliants such as Agent Orange see Westing, Arthur: “The Environmental Aftermath of Warfare in Viet Nam”, SIPRI Yearbook 1982, pp. 363-392.  Back.

Note 25: On this debate see Dowdy, William L. & Barry R. Schneider: “On to Baghdad? Or Stop at Kuwait? A Gulf War Question Revisited”, Defense Analysis, vol. 13, no. 3 (December 1997), pp. 319-327.  Back.

Note 26: It would, for instance, constitute a breach of the above-mentioned Declaration of the Inadmissibility of Intervention. See Murphy: loc. cit. (note 11), pp. 248.  Back.

Note 27: Baratta, Joseph Preston: “The Kellogg-Briand Pact and the Outlawry of War”, in Richard Dean Burns (ed.): Encyclopedia of Arms Control and Disarmament, vols. I-III (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1993), vol. II, pp. 695-705.  Back.

Note 28: Huntington, Samuel: “The Clash of Civilizations”, Foreign Affairs, vol. 72, no. 3 (Summer 1993), pp. 22-49; idem: The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996), especially pp. 328-321. On Middle Eastern perceptions of the West see Fuller, Graham E. & Ian O. Lessler: A Sense of Siege. The Geopolitics of Islam and the West (Boulder: Westview, 1995), pp. 27-46.  Back.

Note 29: “Arab Deputies Condemn Air Strikes”, BBC Online Network, 27 December 1998; “Arab League, Egypt Stress Iraq’s Territorial Unity”, CNN Interactive, 26 January 1999.  Back.

Note 30: On the fragility of the “social contract” in the GCC countries see Gary G. Sick: “The Coming Crisis in the Persian Gulf”, in idem & Lawrence Potter (eds.): The Persian Gulf at the Millennium. Essays in Politics, Economy, Security, and Religion (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1997), pp. 11-30; Mottahedeh, Roy P. & Mamoun Fandy: “The Islamic Movement: The Case for Democratic Inclusion”, ibid., 297-318; Long, David: “Revolutionary Islamism and Gulf Security in the Twenty-first Century”, in idem & Christian Koch (eds.): Gulf Security in the Twenty-First Century (Abu Dhabi: Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, 1997), pp. 121-132.  Back.

Note 31: A good analysis of the rise and fall of pan-Arabism is Sela, Avraham: The Decline of the Arab-Israeli Conflict: Middle East Ppolitics and the Quest for Regional Order (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1997).  Back.

Note 32: See, for instance, Entessar, Nader: Kurdish Ethnonationalism (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 1992).  Back.

Note 33: For an elaboration see Møller: loc. cit. (note 1).  Back.

Note 34: On unipolarity see Layne, Christopher: “The Unipolar Illusion: Why New Great Powers Will Rise”, International Security, vol. 17, no. 4 (Spring 1993), pp. 5-51; Mastanduno, Michael: “Preserving the Unipolar Moment. Realist Theories and U.S. Grand Strategy after the Cold War”, ibid., vol. 21, no. 4 (Spring 1997), pp. 49-88; Kupchan, Charles A.: “After Pax Americana. Benign Power, Regional Integration, and the Sources of Stable Multipolarity”, ibid., vol. 23, no. 2 (Fall 1998), pp. 40-79.  Back.

Note 35: Thucydides: The Peloponnesian War (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1972), p. 402.  Back.

Note 36: Quoted from Keesing’s Contemporary Archives, vol. 36, art. 37694A.  Back.

Note 37: Quoted from Weller: op. cit. (note 2), pp. 281-283.  Back.

Note 38:  Back.

Note 39: Campbell, David: Politics Without Principle. Sovereignty, Ethics, and the Narratives of the Gulf War (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 1994). Comparable analyses of the war against Iraq include Baudrillard, Jean: The Gulf War Did Not Take Place (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995); Norris, Christopher: Uncritical Theory. Postmodernism, Intellectuals, and the Gulf War (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1992); Der Derian, James: Antidiplomacy. Spies, Terror, Speed and War (Oxford: Polity Press, 1992), pp. 173-202. On discourse analysis see also Campbell, David: Writing Security. United States Foreign Policy and the Politics of Identity. Revised Edition (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1998), passim; George, Jim: Discourses of Global Politics: A Critical (Re)Introduction to International Relations (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 1994), pp. 29-34; Krause, Keith & Michael C. Williams (ed.): Critical Security Studies. Concepts and Cases (London: UCL Press, 1997), passim; Jabri, Vivienne: Discourses on Violence: Conflict Analysis Reconsidered (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1996); Wæver, Ole: Concepts of Security (Copenhagen: Institute of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, 1997), pp. 1-25 & passim; Hansen, Lene: Western Villains or Balkan Barbarism. Representations and Responsibility in the Debate over Bosnia (Copenhagen: Institute of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, 1998); Klein, Bradley S.: Strategic Studies and World Order. The Global Politics of Deterrence (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994); idem: “Politics by Design: Remapping Security Landscapes”, European Journal of International Affairs, vol. 4, no. 3 (September 1998), pp. 327-345; Fierke, K.M.: Changing Games, Changing Strategies. Critical Investigations in Security (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1998). An interesting application of discourse analysis to Iraq is Bengio, Ofra: Saddam’s Word. The Political Discourse in Iraq (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998).  Back.

Note 40: Festinger, Leon: A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1957); Jervis, Robert: Perception and Misperception in International Politics (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1976), pp. 117-202, 382-406; Lebow, Richard Ned: Between Peace and War. The Nature of International Crisis (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1981), pp. 101-147.  Back.

Note 41: Fiebig-von-Hase, Ragnhild: “Introduction”, in ida & Ursula Lehmkuhl (eds.): Enemy Images in American History (Oxford: Berghahn Books, 1997), pp. 1-40; Spillmann, Kurt R. & Kati Spillmann: “Some Sociobiological and Psychological Aspects of “Images of the Enemy””, ibid., pp. 43-64; Beck, Ulrich: “The Sociological Anatomy of Enemy Images: The Military and Democracy After the End of the Cold War”, ibid. 65-87; Shimko, Keith L.: Images and Arms Control. Perceptions of the Soviet Union in the Reagan Administration (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1991), pp. 11-41; Fischer, Ronald J.: The Social Psychology of Intergroup and International Conflict Resolution (New York: Springer Verlag, 1990), pp. 39-57. See also Hermann, Richard K. & Michael P. Fischerkeller: “Beyond the Enemy Image and Spriral Model: Cognitive-Strategic Research after the Cold War”, International Organization, vol. 49, no. 3 (Summer 1995), pp. 415-450. See also Rojo, Luisa Martin: “Division and Rejection: From the Personification of the Gulf Conflict to the Demonization of Saddam Hussein”, Discourse and Society, vol. 6, no. 1 (January 1995), pp. 49-80.  Back.

Note 42: See, for instance, Makiya, Kanan: Republic of Fear. The Politics of Modern Iraq (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1998).  Back.

Note 43: Janis, Irving: Victims of Groupthink (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1972); Fischer: op. cit. (note 41), pp. 68-74.  Back.

Note 44: Jervis: op. cit. (note 40), pp. 32-57, 343-355.  Back.

Note 45: Glad, Betty & Charles S. Taber: “Images, Learning, and the Decision to Use Force: The Domino Theory of the United States”, in Betty, Glad (ed.): Psychological Dimensions of War, (London: Sage, 1990), pp. 56-81.  Back.

Note 46: Heuser, Beatrice & Cyril Buffet: “Conclusions. Historical Myths and the Denial of Change”, in Cyril Buffet & Beatrice Heuser (eds.): Haunted by History. Myths in International Relations (Oxford: Berghan Books, 1998), pp. 259-274, quotations from 265-266, 272.  Back.

Note 47: Klare, Michael: Rogue States and Nuclear Outlaws. America’s Search for a New Foreign Policy (New York: Hill and Wang, 1995). See also Goldman, Emily O.: “Thinking About Strategy Absent the Enemy”, Security Studies, vol. 4, no. 1 (Autumn 1994), pp. 40-85. For an attempt at planning without a stipulated enemy see Davis, Paul: “Planning Under Uncertainty Then and Now: Paradigms Lost and Paradigms Emerging”, in idem (ed.): New Challenges for Defense Planning. Rethinking How Much is Enough (Santa Monica: RAND, 1994), pp. 15-58; Kent, Glenn A. & William E. Simons: “Objective-Based Planning”, ibid., pp. 59-72; Khalilzad, Zalmay M. & David A. Ochmanek (eds.): Strategy and Defense Planning for the 21st Century (Santa Monica: Rand, 1997). On the MIC see Pursell, Carroll W. Jr. (ed.): The Military Industrial Complex (New York: Harper & Row, 1972); Barnett, Richard: The Economy of Death. A Hard Look at the Defense Budget, the Military Industrial Complex, and What You Can Do About Them, New York: Atheneum, 1970); Senghaas, Dieter: Rüstung und Militarismus (Frankfurt, Suhrkamp Verlag, 1972). For a critique see Sarkesian, Sam C. (ed.): The Military-Industrial Complex. A Reassessment (Beverly Hills: Sage, 1972).  Back.

Note 48: Taylor, Philip M.: War and the Media. Propaganda and Persuasion in the Gulf War. 2nd edition (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1998); Hayward, Malcolm: “The Making of the New World Order: The Role of the Media”, in Tareq Y. Ismael & Jacqueline S. Ismael (eds.): The Gulf War and the New World Order: International Relations in the Middle East (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1994), pp. 224-242; Parasitil, Andrew T.: “Defeating the Vietnam Syndrome: The Military, the Media, and the Gulf War”, ibid., pp. 242-262; Manheim, Jarol B.: “The War of Images: Strategic Communication in the Gulf Conflict”, in Stanley A. Renshon (ed.): The Political Psychology of the Gulf War. Leaders, Publics, and the Process of Conflict (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1993), pp. 155-171; Mueller, John: “American Public Opinion and the Gulf War”, ibid., pp. 199-226.  Back.

Note 49: Chuter, David: “Munich, or the Blood of Others”, in Buffett & Heuser (eds.): op. cit. (note 46), pp. 65-79.  Back.

Note 50: “Situation Analysis of Children and Women in Iraq”, UNICEF Report, 30 April 1998, extracts available at On sanctions in general see Hufbauer, Gary Clyde, Jeffrey J. Schott & Kimberly Ann Elliott: Economic Sanctions Reconsidered. History and Current Policy, 2nd edition, vols. 1-2 (Washington, D.C.: Institute for International Economics, 1990); Cortright, David (ed.): The Price of Peace. Incentives and International Conflict Prevention (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 1997); idem & George A. Lopez (eds.): Economic Sanctions. Panacea or Peacebuilding in a Post-Cold War World? (Boulder: Westview Press, 1995); Mansfield, Edward D.: “International Institutions and Economic Sanctions”, World Politics, vol. 47, no. 4 (July 1995), pp. 575-605; Boudreau, Donald G.: “Economic Sanctions and Military Force in the Twenty-First Century”, European Security, vol. 6, no. 2 (Summer 1997), pp. 28-46; Pape, Robert A.: “Why Economic Sanctions Do Not Work”, International Security, vol. 22, no. 2 (Fall 1997), pp. 90-136; idem: “Why Economic Sanctions Still Do Not Work”, ibid., vol. 23, no. 1 (Summer 1998), pp. 66-77; Elliott, Kimberly Ann: “The Sanctions Glass: Half Full or Completely Empty”, ibid., pp. 50-65; Kirshner, Jonathan: “The Microfoundations of Economic Sanctions”, Security Studies, vol. 6, no. 3 (Spring 1997), pp. 32-64; Lavin, Franklin L.: “Asphyxiation or Oxygen? The Sanctions Dilemma”, Foreign Policy, vol 104 (Fall 1996), pp. 139-153; Rogers, Elizabeth S.: “Using Economic Sanctions to Control Regional Conflicts”, Security Studies, vol. 5, no. 4 (Summer 1996), pp. 43-72. On one of the few instances of successful sanctions see Thomas, Scott: “The Diplomacy of Liberation: The ANC in Defence of Sanctions”, in Greg Mills (ed.): From Pariah to Participant. South Africa’s Evolving Foreign Relations, 1990-1994 (Johannesburg: The South African Institute of International Affairs, 1994), pp. 169-192.  Back.

Note 51: An example is the testimony of Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Walter B. Slocombe, speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee January 29. He used the expression “the sanctions, the no-fly zones in the north and south, and the no-reinforcement zone in the south—which were placed upon Iraq pursuant to resolutions of the Security Council”, when in fact only the sanctions were mandated by the UN.  Back.

Note 52: Baudrillard: op. cit. (note 39), p. 26. See also Gelven, Michael: War and Existence. A Philosophical Inquiry (University Park, Pennsylvania: Penn State Press, 1994), pp. 116-124. On the lack of heroism and a possible demographic explanation see Luttwak, Edward N.: “A Post-Heroic Military Policy”, Foreign Affairs, vol. 75, no. 4 (July-August 1996), pp. 33-44.  Back.

Note 53: Clausewitz, Carl von: On War, edited and translated by Michael Howard and Peter Paret (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1984), p. 357 (Book VI.1.1.). See also Gat, Azar: “Clausewitz on Defence and Attack”, Journal of Strategic Studies, vol. 11, no. 1 (1988), pp. 20-26.  Back.

Note 54: USIA Security Affairs, 25 January 1999.  Back.

Note 55: American Forces Press Service, 26 January 1999 confirmed that A U.S. missile fired at an Iraqi radar site Jan. 25 went astray and exploded in a residential neighbourhood near the city of Basra in southern Iraq, justifying it with the explanation that “At the time, U.S. forces were responding to provocative attacks against coalition aircraft by targeting elements of Saddam Hussein’s air defense system”. Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon added that “Coalition forces take every step possible to avoid targeting civilians or creating collateral damage.... We are not attacking the people of Iraq. We have no animus against them whatsoever. In fact, we have a lot of sympathy for the people of Iraq. But we are attacking a large air defense system being used in an attempt to defeat the policing of the no-fly zones.”  Back.

Note 56: Gaddis, John Lewis: Strategies of Containment. A Critical Appraisal of Postwar American National Security Policy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1982), passim; Kennan, George F.: “Reflexions on Containment”, in Terry L. Deibel & John Lewis Gaddis (eds.): Containing the Soviet Union. A Critique of US Policy (London: Pergamon-Brassey’s, 1987), pp. 15-19; idem: “Containment Then and Now”, Foreign Affairs, vol. 66, no. 2 (Spring 1987), pp. 885-890. See also Kennan’s “Long Telegram” of 22 February, 1946, reprinted in Thomas H. Etzold & John Lewis Gaddis (eds.): Containment. Documents on American Policy and Strategy, 1945-1950 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1978), pp. 50-63; Mayers, David: “Containment and the Primacy of Diplomacy: George Kennan’s Views, 1947-1948”, International Security, vol. 11, no. 1 (Summer 1986), pp. 124-162.  Back.

Note 57: On the general logic see George, Alexander L.: “Superpower Interests in Third Areas”, in Roy Allison & Phil Williams (eds.): Superpower Competition and Crisis Prevention in the Third World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), pp. 107-120. For a critique see Hopf, Ted: Peripheral Visions. Deterrence Theory and American Foreign Policy in the Third World, 1965-1990 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1994). See also MacDonald, Douglas J.: “The Truman Administration and Global Responsibilities: The Birth of the Falling Domino Principle”, in Robert Jervis & Jack Snyder (eds.): Dominoes and Bandwagons. Strategic Beliefs and Great Power Competition in the Eurasian Rimland (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), pp. 112-144; Jervis, Robert: “Domino Beliefs and Strategic Behaviour”, ibid., pp. 20-50.  Back.

Note 58: Stent, Angela: “Economic Containment”, in Deibel & Gaddis (eds.): op. cit. (note 56), pp. 59-77; Becker, Abraham S.: “U.S.-Soviet Trade and East-West Trade Policy”, in Arnold L. Horelick (ed.): U.S.-Soviet Relations. The Next Phase (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1986), pp. 175-197. For a broader perspective see Lebow, Richard Ned & Janice Gross Stein: We All Lost the Cold War (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994).  Back.

Note 59: Corke, Sarah-Jane: “Bridging the Gap: Containment, Covert Action and the Search for the Missing Link in American Cold War Policy, 1948-1953”, The Journal of Strategic Studies, vol. 20, no. 4 (December 1997), pp. 45-65.  Back.

Note 60: The indicators in this table correspond to the definition of rogueness given in Tanter, Raymond: Rogue Regimes. Terrorism and Proliferation (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998), pp. ix-x; and Klare: op. cit. (note 47), pp. 24-28. Synonyms include “outlaw states” are “backlash states”, e.g. used by then National Security Advisor Anthony Lake: “Confronting Backlash States”, Foreign Affairs, vol, 73, no. 2 (March-April 1994), pp. 45-55.  Back.

Note 61: International Institute for Strategic Studies: The Military Balance 1998/99 (Oxford: Oxford University Press/IISS, 1998), pp. 295-296. Both SIPRI and ACDA have refrained from estimating Iraqi military expenditures. SIPRI’s estimate of Iranian MILEX in 1997 was 2,715 (1995) US dollars, while its figure for the US was 258,963. See SIPRI Yearbook 1998, pp. 223 and 226. ACDA’s figures for 1995 were (in constant 1995 dollars) 4,191 for Iran and 277,800 for the United States. See U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency: World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers 1996 (Washington, D.C: Government Printing Office, 1997).  Back.

Note 62: “Iraq Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs”, U.S. Government White Paper, February 13, 1998. Available at  Back.

Note 63: Samore, Gary: “Iraq”, in Mitchell Reiss & Robert S. Litwak: Nuclear Proliferation After the Cold War (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1994), pp. 15-32; Barnaby, Frank: How Nuclear Weapons Spread. Nuclear-Weapon Proliferation in the 1990s (London: Routledge, 1993), pp. 86-93; Fischer, David: Stopping the Spread of Nuclear Weapons. The Past of the Prospects (London: Routledge, 1992), pp. 66-67; idem, Wolfgang Köttner & Harald Müller: Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Global Order (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), pp. 132-136; Bailey, Kathleen C.: Strengthening Nuclear Nonproliferation (Boulder: Westview, 1993), pp. 28-35; Klare: op. cit. (note 47), pp. 41-51; Kokoski, Richard: Technology and the Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), pp. 97-146; Kelley, Robert E.: “The Iraqi and South African Nuclear Weapon Programs. The Importance of Management”, Security Dialogue, vol. 27, no. 1 (March 1996), pp. 27-38.  Back.

Note 64: Albright, David: “An Iranian Bomb?”, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, vol. 51, no. 4 (July-August 1995), pp. 21-26; Spector, Leonard S., Mark G. McDonough (with Evan S. Medeiros): Tracking Nuclear Proliferation. A Guide in Maps and Charts, 1995 (Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1995), pp. 119-124; Leeuwen, Marianne van: “Nuclear Proliferation in the Middle East”, in idem (ed.): The Future of the International Non-Proliferation Regime (Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1995), pp. 125-154, especially pp. 136-141; Barnaby: op. cit. (note 65), pp. 114-117; Vaziri, Haleh: “Iran’s Nuclear Quest: Motivations and Consequences”, in Raju G.C. Thomas (ed.): The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Regime. Prospects for the 21st Century (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998), pp. 310-329.  Back.

Note 65: The total includes around 7,200 strategic and 1,000 non-strategic warheads. See “U.S. Nuclear Stockpile, July 1998”, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, vol. 54, no. 4 (July-Aug. 1998), pp. 69-71; “U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces, End of 1998”, ibid., vol. 55, no. 1 (Jan-Feb. 1999), pp. 78-79.  Back.

Note 66: Alperovitz, Gar: Atomic Diplomacy. Hiroshima and Potsdam. The Use of the Atomic Bomb and the American Confrontation with Soviet Power (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1985); idem: “Hiroshima: Historians Reassess”, Foreign Policy, no. 99 (Summer 1995), pp. 15-34; Walker, J. Samuel: Prompt and Utter Destruction. Truman and the Use of Atomic Bombs Against Japan (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997). On the illegality of the use of nuclear weapons see Burroughs, John: The (Il)legatity of Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons (Münster: Lit Verlag, 1997). On nuclear first-use see Gompert, David, Kenneth Watman & Dean Wilkening: “Nuclear First Use Revisited”, Survival, vol. 37, no. 3 (Autumn 1995), pp. 27-44.  Back.

Note 67: McNaugher, Thomas L.: “Ballistic Missiles and Chemical Weapons: The Legacy of the Iran-Iraq War”, International Security, vol. 15, no. 1 (Fall 1990), pp. 5-34. For a curious (almost indecent) description of Iraq’s use of chemical weapons see Mushtak, Hazim T.: “Arms Control and the Proliferation of High-Technology Weapons in the Middle East and South Asia: An Iraqi View”, in Shelley A. Stahl & Geoffrey Kemp (eds.): Arms Control and Weapons Proliferation in the Middle East and South Asia (New York: St. Martin’s Press & the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1992), pp. 113-119, especially p. 16, where the author argues that “they were used in a purely defensive stance and posture”.  Back.

Note 68: According to Cordesman, Anthony H.: After the Storm. The Changing Military Balance in the Middle East (Boulder: Westview, 1993), pp. 419-421, Iran has both a chemical and a biological weapons programme.  Back.

Note 69: The US has ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention and destruction of existing stocks is proceeding, but may not be completed by the CWC deadline of 2007. See Zanders, Jean Pascal & John Hart: “Chemical and Biological Arms Control”, SIPRI Yearbook 1998, pp. 457-489, especially pp. 461-463. As recently as around 1986 the United States made a major effort to develop a new generation of (binary) chemical weapons and to deploy them in Europe. See Robinson, Julian Perry: “The Changing Status of Chemical and Biological Warfare: Recent Technical, Military and Political Developments”, SIPRI Yearbook 1982, pp. 317-362; idem: “NATO Chemical Weapons Policy and Posture”, ADIU Occasional Papers, no. 4 (Brighton: ADIU, University of Sussex, 1986).  Back.

Note 70: The herbicide “Agent Orange” contained dioxin, and could thus be regarded as a chemical weapon. Even though it was used as a defoliant, it had long-lasting effects against humans. See Gibson: op. cit. (note 24), pp. 123-124, 289; Harris, Robert & Jeremy Paxman: A Higher Form of Killing. The Secret Story of Chemical and Biological Warfare (New York: Hill & Wang, 1982), pp. 191-196. See also SIPRI: “Delayed Toxic Effects of Chemical Warfare Agents”, SIPRI Monograph (Stockholm: SIPRI, 1975), pp. 19-22; idem: CBW and the Law of War (Stockholm: Almqvist & Wicksell: The Problem of Chemical and Biological Warfare. A Study of the Historical, Technical, Military, Legal and Political Aspects of CBW, and Possible Disarmament Measures, vol. 3, 1973), pp. 55-57.  Back.

Note 71: According to ACDA, Iran has produced BW agents and weaponized a small quantity of these. See Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control Agreements, 1997, available at  Back.

Note 72: There have been some suspicion about certain US research programmes, inter alia as far as genetic engineering and defensive programmes are concerned. See Dando: op. cit. (note 14), pp. 184-190. Also, the verification regime for the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention is still non-existent—and the US private firms and the Association of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America are opposing elements of such a regime. See Zanders & Hart: loc. cit. (note 71), p. 472.  Back.

Note 73: Cuba has alleged that the US launched a biological weapons attack in October 1996. See Zanders & Hart: loc. cit. (note 71), pp. 479-480. The evidence does not, however, appear convincing.  Back.

Note 74: The US White Paper ( op. cit., note 64) mentions aspossible “a small force of Scud-type missiles and an undetermined number of warheads and launchers”. See also Cordesman: op. cit. (note 70), pp. 484-494.  Back.

Note 75: Nolan, Janne E.: Trappings of Power. Ballistic Missiles in the Third World, (Washington, D.C.: Brookings, 1991), pp. 81-86.  Back.

Note 76: Navias, Martin: Going Ballistic. The Build-up of Missiles in the Middle East (London: Brassey’s, UK, 1993), pp. 51-56; Nolan, Janne E.: Trappings of Power. Ballistic Missiles in the Third World, (Washington, D.C.: Brookings, 1991), pp. 52-60; Bermudez, Joseph S. Jr.: “Iran’s Missile Development”, in William C. Potter & Harlan W. Jencks (eds.): The International Missile Bazaar. The New Suppliers Network (Boulder: Westview, 1994), pp. 47-74.  Back.

Note 77: Cordesman: op. cit. (note 70), pp. 416-419.  Back.

Note 78: The UN General Assembly in 1974 (Resolution no. 3314) defined aggression as “the use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations, as set out in this definition”. See Dinstein: op. cit. (note 5), p. 127.  Back.

Note 79: The starting point has been selected as it marks the Iraqi “revolution” that brought effective independence from British rule.  Back.

Note 80: On the attack against Iran see Rajaee Farhang (ed.): Iranian Perspectives on the Iran-Iraq War (Gainsville: University Press of Florida, 1997), passim. According to some accounts, the US aided and abetted in Saddam Hussein’s attack against Iran. See, for instance, Tousi, Reza Ra’iss: “Containment and Animosity: The United States and the War”, ibid., pp. 49-61, especially p. 50. On the resons for the Iraqi invasion and the unsuccesful (or never attempted) deterrence see Stein, Janice Gross: “Deterrence and Compellence in the Gulf, 1990-1991: A Failed or Impossible Task?”, International Security, vol. 17, no. 2 (Fall 1992), pp. 147-179; Karsh, Efraim: “Reflections on the 1990-91 Gulf Conflict”, The Journal of Strategic Studies, vol. 19., no. 3 (September 1996), pp. 303-320; idem: “Rethinking the 1990-91 Gulf Conflict”, Diplomacy and Statecraft, vol. 7, no. 3 (November 1996), pp. 729-769; Freedman, Lawrence & idem: The Gulf Conflict 1990-1991. Diplomacy and War in the New World Order (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1993), pp. 19-63; Tripp, Charles: “Iraq and the War for Kuwait”, in James Gow (ed.): Iraq, the Gulf Conflict and the World Community (London: Brassey’s/Centre for Defence Studies, 1993), pp. 16-33; Record, Jeffrey: Hollow Victory. A Contrary View of the Gulf War (Washington, D.C.: Brassey’s, US, 1993), pp. 15-42. See also Chatelus, Michael: “Iraq and Its Oil: Sixty-five Years of Ambition and Frustration”, in Derek Hopwood, Habib Ishow & Thomas Koszinowski (eds.): Iraq. Power and Society (Reading: Ithaca Press, 1993), pp. 141-169; Ishow, Habib: “Relations between Iraq and Kuwait”, ibid., pp. 303-318.  Back.

Note 81: Rubin, Barry: Paved With Good Intentions. The American Experience and Iran (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1981), pp. 132-134; Chubin, Shahram: Security in the Persian Gulf, vol. 4: The Role of Outside Powers (London: IISS and Aldershot: Gower, 1982), pp. 9-36; Halliday, Fred: Iran. Dictatorship and Development, 2nd edition (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1979), pp. 266-277; Hooglund, Eric: “Iran”, in Peter J. Schraeder (ed.): Intervention into the 1990s. U.S. Foreign Policy in the Third World. 2nd Edition (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 1992), pp. 303-320; idem: “The Persian Gulf”, ibid. pp. 321-342.  Back.

Note 82: Even though Vietnam might have been included, the fact that the US waged its war at the request of a South Vietnamese government mandated its exclusion. For a historical account see Blechman, Barry M. & Steven S. Kaplan: Force Without War. U.S. Armed Forces as a Political Instrument (Washington D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1978), passim; Haas, Richard N.: Intervention. The Use of American Military Force in the Post-Cold War Period (Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1994), passim; Carpenter, Ted Galen: “Direct Military Intervention”, in Schraeder (ed.): op. cit. (note 83), pp. 153-172. On the US air campaigns and invasions of Cambodia and Laos (both of which were neutral countries) see Prados, John: Presidents’ Secret Wars. CIA and Pentagon Covert Operations Since World War II (New York: William Morrow & Co., 1986), pp. 298-303; Kissinger, Henry A.: The White House Years (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson and Michael Joseph, 1979), pp. 239-254; idem: Years of Upheaval (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson and Michael Joseph, 1982), pp. 335-361; Gibson: op. cit. (note 24), pp. 399-418; MacLear, Michael: Vietnam: The Ten Thousand Day War (London: Thames Methuen, 1981), pp. 241-243, 392-406; Record, Jeffrey: The Wrong War. Why We Lost in Vietnam (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1998), pp. 75-76. On the intervention in the Dominican Republic see Ranelagh, John: The Agency. The Rise and Decline of the CIA (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987), pp. 482-485. On the bombing of Libya see Kaldor, Mary & Paul Anderson (eds.): Mad Dogs. The US Raids on Libya (London: Pluto Press, 1986). On Panama see Scranton, Margaret E.: “Panama”, in Schraeder (ed.): op. cit., pp. 343-360. On the mining of Nicaraguan harbours see Kornbluh, Peter: “Nicaragua”, ibid., pp. 285-301, especially p. 293; LeoGrande, William M.: Our Own Backyard. The United States in Central America, 1977-1992 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998), pp. 330-32. On the invasion of Grenada see Griffith, Ivelaw L.: “Security Perceptions of English Caribbean Elites”, in idem (ed.): Strategy and Security in the Caribbean (New York: Praeger, 1991), pp. 3-26; and Clifford E. Griffin: “Postinvasion Political Security in the Eastern Caribbean”, ibid., pp. 76-97; Leogrande: op. cit., pp. 348-9, 357-8. On the 1980 rescue attempt in Iran (which would qualify as intervention, regardless of its defensive intentions) see Ronzitti, Natalino: Rescuing Nationals Abroad Through Military Coercion and Intervention on Grounds of Humanity (Dordrecht; Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1985), pp. 41-49. On the FRY (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) see, for instance, Cohen, Lenard J.: Broken Bonds. Yugoslavia’s Disintegration and Balkan Politics in Transition. 2nd Edition (Boulder: Westview, 1995), pp. 317-318; Anderson, Stephanie: “EU, NATO and CSCE Responses to the Yugoslav Crisis: Testing Europe’s New Security Architecture”, European Security, vol. 4, no. 2 (Summer 1995), pp. 328-353; Greco, Ettore: “UN-NATO Interaction: Lessons from the Yugoslav Experience”, The International Spectator, vol. 32, no. 3/4 (July-Dec 1997), pp. 121-136; Crawford, Timothy Wallace: “Why Minimum Force Won’t Work: Doctrine and Deterrence in Bosnia and Beyond”, Global Governance, vol. 4, no. 2 (April-June 1998), pp. 235-256; Glitman, Maynard: “US Policy in Bosnia: Rethinking a Flawed Approach”, Survival, vol. 38, no. 4 (Winter 1996-97), pp. 66-83.  Back.

Note 83: According to the FBI, Iraq was not actively involved in the sponsorship of international terrorism in 1997, but it had been so in the past. Iran, however, allegedly “remains the most active state sponsor of terrorism”. See FBI: Patterns of Global Terrorism 1997, available on the internet at  Back.

Note 84: See notes 83 and 85.  Back.

Note 85: Ransom, Harry Howe: “Covert Intervention”, in Schraeder (ed.): op. cit. (note 83), pp. 113-129; Schraeder, Peter J.: “Paramilitary Intervention”, ibid., pp. 131-151; Prados: op. cit. (note 84), pp. 183-187, 195-196 (on Cuba), 338-347 (on Angola), 385-401 (on Nicaragua), 315-322 (on Chile); Ranelagh: op. cit. (note 84), pp. 260-269, 358-376, 516-520, 678-681, 710-727; Woodward, Bob: Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA 1981-1987 (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987), passim. On Laos see George, Alexander L.: Forceful Persuasion. Coercive Diplomacy as an Alternative to War (Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace Press, 1991), pp. 25-30. On Iraq see the “Iraq Liberation Act of 1998”, in Congressional Record, vol. 144, no. 137 (October 5, 1998), pp. H9486-9492.  Back.

Note 86: On the Korean War (where the 38th parallel and the Yalu River signified the border between containment and roll-back, in the strict and more “liberal” sense, respectively) see Whelan, Richard: Drawing the Line. The Korean War, 1950-1953 (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1990), pp. 217-240; Gaddis: op. cit. (note 56), pp. 89-126. On the Reagan Administration see Posen, Barry R. & Stephen Van Evera: “Defense Policy and the Reagan Administration: Departure from Containment”, International Security, vol. 8, no. 1 (Summer 1983), pp. 3-45; LeoGrande, William M., “Rollback or Containment? The United States, Nicaragua, and the Search for Peace in Central America”, ibid., vol. 11, no. 2 (Fall 1986), pp. 89-120.  Back.

Note 87: See, for instance, Lynch, Allen: The Cold War is Over —Again (Boulder: Westview Press, 1992); George, Alexander L., Philip J. Farley & Alexander Dallin (eds.): U.S.—Soviet Security Cooperation. Achievements, Failures, Lessons (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), passim; Kanet, Roger E. & Edward A. Kolodziej (eds.): The Cold War as Competition. Superpower Cooperation in Regional Conflict Management (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1991), passim; Garthoff, Raymond L.: The Great Transition. American-Soviet Relations and the End of the Cold War (Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1994), passim. For a theoretical perspective see Milner, Helen: “Review Article: International Theories of Cooperation Among Nations: Strengths and Weaknesses”, World Politics, vol. 44, no. 3 (April 1992), pp. 466-496; Axelrod, Robert: The Evolution of Cooperation (New York: Basic Books, 1984); Stein, Arthur A.: Why Nations Cooperate. Circumstance and Choice in International Relations (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1990); idem & Robert A. Keohane: “Achieving Cooperation Under Anarchy: Strategies and Institutions”, in David A. Baldwin (ed.): Neorealism and Neoliberalism. The Contemporary Debate (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993), pp. 85-115; Glaser, Charles L.: “Realists as Optimists: Cooperaion as Self-Help”, International Security, vol. 19, no. 3 (Winter 1994/95), pp. 50-90; Miller, Benjamin: When Opponents Cooperate. Great Power Conflicts and Collaboration in World Politics (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1995).  Back.

Note 88: Byman, Daniel, Kenneth Pollack & Gideon Rose: “The Rollback Fantasy”, Foreign Affairs, vol. 78, no. 1 (Jan-Feb. 1999), pp. 24-41.  Back.

Note 89: Milward, William: “Containing Iran”, Commentary. A Canadian Security Intelligence Service Publication, no. 63 (November 1995), pp. 1-14; Sicherman, Harvey: “America’s Alliance Anxieties. The Strange Death of Dual Containment”, Orbis. A Journal of World Affairs, vol. 41, no. 2 (Spring 1997), pp. 223-240; Sick, Gary: “Rethinking Dual Containment”, Survival, vol. 40, no. 1 (Spring 1998), pp. 5-32; Brzezinski, Zbigniew, Brent Scowcroft & Richard Murphy: “Differentiated Containment”, Foreign Affairs, vol. 76, no. 3 (May-June 1997), pp. 20-30; Wright, Robin & Shaul Bakhash: “The U.S. and Iran: An Offer They Can’t Refuse?”, Foreign Policy, vol. 108 (Fall 1997), pp. 124-137; Baghat, Gawdat: “Beyond Containment: US-Iranian Relations at a Crossroads”, Security Dialogue, vol. 28, no. 4 (December 1997), pp. 453-464.  Back.

Note 90:; and  Back.

Note 91:  Back.

Note 92: Prawitz & Leonard: op. cit. (note 19).  Back.

Note 93: Gerges, Fawaz A.: “Washington’s Misguided Iran Policy”, Survival, vol. 38, no. 4 (Winter 1996-97), pp. 5-15; Chubin, Sharam: “US Policy Towards Iran Should Change—But It Probably Won’t”, ibid., pp. 16-19; al-Suwaidi, Jamal S.: “Gulf Security and the Iranian Challenge”, Security Dialogue, vol. 27, no. 3 (September 1996), pp. 277-294.  Back.

Note 94: Arnett, Eric: “Beyond Threat Perception: Assessing Military Capability and Recucing the Risk of War in Southern Asia”, in idem (ed.): Military Capacity and the Risk of War. China, India, Pakistan and Iran (Oxford: Oxford University Press/SIPRI, 1997), pp. 1-24, especially pp. 5-6 and 16-20; Loftian, Saideh: “Threat Perception and Military Planning in Iran: Credible Scenarios of Conflict and Opportunities for Confidence Building”, ibid., pp. 195-222; Chubin, Sharam: Iran’s National Security Policy. Capabilities, Intentions and Impact (Washington, D.C: The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1994).  Back.

Note 95: For a much more alarmist analysis, based partly on questionable sources (which the author does not question) see also Ritcheson, Philip L.: “Iranian Military Resurgence: Scope, Motivations, and Implications for Regional Security”, Armed Forces and Society, vol. 21, no. 4 (Summer 1995), pp. 573-592. See also Katzman, Kenneth: “The Politico-Military Threat from Iran”, in Jamal S. al-Suwaidi (ed.): Iran and the Gulf. A Search for Stability (Abu Dhabi, UAE: Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research and London: I.B. Tauris, 1996), pp. 195-210; Cordesman, Anthony H.: “Threats and Non-Threats from Iran”, ibid., pp. 211-286; Arnett, Eric: “Iran is not Iraq”, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, vol. 64, no. 1 (January 1998), pp. 12-14.  Back.

Note 96: Hunter, Shireen T.: “Iran after Khomeini”, The Washington Papers, no. 156 (Washington, DC: CSIS, 1992); Clawson, Patrick: “Iran after Khomeini: Weakened and Weary”, in Daniel Pipes (ed.): Sandstorm. Middle East Conflicts and America (Lanham: University Press of America, 1993), pp. 269-276; Kupchan, Charles A.: “Iran after Khomeini: Ready to Talk”, ibid., pp. 277-284; Rundle, Christopher: “Iran: Continuity and Change since the Revolution—Carrying Water in a Sieve?”, in M. Jane Davis (ed.): Politics and International Relations in the Middle East. Continuity and Change (Aldershot: Edward Elgar, 1995), pp. 105-117; Mahtasham, Elahe: “An Iranian Perspective”, in Gow (ed.): op. cit. (note 82), pp. 107-120. See also Kazemi, Farhad: “Review Article: Models of Iranian Politics, the Road to the Islamic Revolution, and the Challenge of Civil Society”, World Politics, vol. 47, no. 4 (July 1995), pp. 555-574. For an excellent analysis of Iran’s evolution from a revolutionary to a “normal” state, see Walt, Stephen M.: Revolution and War (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1996), pp. 210-268.  Back.

Note 97: Al-Suwaidi, Jamal S.: “Gulf Security and the Iranian Challenge”, Security Dialogue, vol. 27, no. 3 (September 1996), pp. 277-294, quotes from pp. 278 and 287.  Back.

Note 98: Deutsch, Karl W. et al.: Political Community and the North Atlantic Area. International Organization in the Light of Historical Experience (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1957); Adler, Emmanuel & Michael Barnett: “Security Communities in Theoretical Perspective”, in idem & idem (eds.): Security Communities (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 3-28; idem & idem: “A Framework for the Study of Security Communities”, ibid., pp. 29-65. For a rather pessimistic view, see Barnett, Michael & F. Gregory Gause III: “Caravans in Opposite Directions: Society, State and the Development of a Community in the Gulf Cooperation Council”, ibid., pp. 161-197.  Back.