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A Political History of UN Security Council Resolution 1441
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After an attempt to resume the inspection process in November, United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) chief Richard Butler reported that the Iraqis were still refusing to cooperate. The inspections were stopped.
Following the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 the President Bush’s administration devoted considerable attention to asymmetric threats, which, in its view, had multiplied since the demise of communism in Europe. In his State of the Union address in January 2002 President Bush spoke of an Axis of Evil, comprising states that sought the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and supported international terrorism. He named Iraq as one such state.
Mr. Bush declared that his administration had two goals: first the eradication of terrorism, and secondly, “to prevent regimes that sponsor terror from threatening America or our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction”. Because he acknowledged that there was no evidence of direct connection between the regime of Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, Bush stressed on the issue of the weapons of mass destruction. He accused Iraq of developing all chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, and added that the price of indifference would have been catastrophic, if regimes would provide these arms to terrorists. Subsequent US support for pre-emptive action had naturally drawn a considerable amount of criticism and divided the main world powers politically. For this reason, USA have always emphasized that they would act as well without an UN mandate if necessary, although it seemed to many very improbable.
Hence, there were many policy options discussed to force Iraq to comply with its duties in the media, among experts and politicians during the year of 2002. All approaches can be grouped into 7 types of response .
1. Continued Containment
This approach was the easiest one. It would require only continuance of economic embargo with the control over Iraq’s oil revenue. Opponents saw this view very dangerous, because no inspections at all would just let Saddam do what he wants and this immense threat will only rise with years to come. Doubts about this tactic are only reinforced by the historical example of consequences of the appeasement policy in the 1930s.
2. Coercive Weapon Inspections
Another method would constitute UN weapon inspections (of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency) backed up by an UN-mandated armed rapid-response unit, enforcing the implementation of the inspections when necessary.