Saddam's Secrets: The Hunt for Iraq's Hidden Weapons

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9780006531135: Saddam's Secrets: The Hunt for Iraq's Hidden Weapons

The author of this text, Tim Trevan, was a key British participant (1992-1995) in UNSCOM's investigation of Iraqi chemical and biological sites. In his narrative, he shows how UNSCOM dealt with Iraq's devious, despotic regime: the early frustrations encountered because of Iraq's lying and obstruction; the techniques and technologies inspectors employed; the personal difficulties and dangers of the job; and their ingenuity in tackling problems. The book also shows how the Commission maintained support in a divided UN Security Council long enough to achieve success, despite the ceaseless stream of international crises unleashed by Iraq to try and break the Commission.

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About the Author:

Tim Trevan is a former senior advisor to the UN Special Commission for Iraq (UNSCOM) and a former British diplomat. He is now with the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He graduated in Cellular Pathology from Bristol University in the late 1970s, served in the Arms Control and Disarmament Dept. of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, on the Chemical, Biological and Radiological Weapons desk, and subsequently learnt Arabic in the Yemen.

From Publishers Weekly:

The British author spent several years as a key member of UNSCOMAthe United Nations Special Commission for Iraq, tasked with monitoring and enforcing Iraq's dismantling of its capacity to produce weapons of mass destruction. In addition to an informative narrative of the U.N.'s frustrating attempts to limit Saddam's weapons program, Trevan offers a valuable perspective on U.N. bureaucracy at a time when the organization is trying to assert its power and influence around the world. He describes the personal dynamics that replace national loyalties; the emphasis on negotiating finesse and the careful parsing of written agreements; the heavy dependence on leaks, back-channeling and spin. From the beginning, Iraqi officials placed every possible obstacle in UNSCOM's path. The deception and evasions were, in Trevan's view, as brazen as they were comprehensive. In the resulting game of "catch us if you can," UNSCOMAwith significant help from Israeli intelligenceAscored its share of limited, specific successes. In Trevan's final analysis, however, the triumphs were ephemeral as Saddam Hussein continued his weapons research programs, inconvenienced but unthwarted. Not surprisingly, Trevan concludes that "Iraq was not interested in cooperating with UNSCOM." To the book's fundamental questionAhow can democracies force a hostile nondemocracy to "be good" without compromising democratic principles?ATrevan offers some answers in an epilogue. He argues for an increasing transfer of both sovereignty and power to international organizations, specifically the U.N. In fact, despite Saddam's success in dodging UNSCOM, Trevan considers UNSCOM a paradigm: "excellent people bound by a strong culture of achievement and attention to detail."
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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