Publication Date

2009

Degree Name

MA in Conflict Management

First Advisor

Paula Green

Abstract

In examining the complexities behind the threat of nuclear, biological, chemical and radiological (NBCR) weapons transfer in tandem with weapons and technical expertise in Iraq, the analysis of policies effected by the Coalition Forces (later Multi-national Forces – Iraq or MNF-I), the US government (USG) and the Government of Iraq (GOI) demand careful analysis to prevent such a threat falling into the wrong hands. This research project will attempt to assess enabling conditions in Iraq that would be conducive for weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferation in the region. The focus will be on the Iraqi scientific community previously engaged in WMD research and development programs under Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, and will explore to what extent US foreign policy and Iraqi policies increased or curbed the likelihood of WMD proliferation and/or the proliferation of technical expertise.

The structure of this study will begin with historical background to illustrate the extent of the former Iraqi WMD programs and the amount of technical expertise in the country. This background will serve not only to detail the extent of physical destruction Iraq has suffered under the Saddam Hussein’s rule, but also the collective psychological devastation. This will be followed by an examination of recent and current US policy in Iraq that has had an influence on the conditions that may have affected the likelihood of WMD proliferation. Present and future consequences on Iraqi society and the region will be examined as a result of the policies, followed by concrete recommendations in the spirit of conflict transformation for improved policy options. The conclusion reached by this author is that much more needs to be done to remedy the “brain drain” Iraq experienced especially in the early years of the Iraq War to suppress global WMD proliferation threats and to promote peacebuilding and post-war development in Iraq.

Disciplines

Defense and Security Studies | Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation

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