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Proliferation Incentives, Supplies and Controls

  • Edward M. Spiers

Abstract

Any attempt to develop a system of controlling the spread of chemical and biological weapons has to be based upon an understanding of why and how this phenomenon has evolved. As the process has always been shrouded in secrecy, apart from specific cases of intercepted and indicted suppliers, the assessment of motivation — whether of the suppliers or of the recipients — is bound to be speculative. Regimes in the developing world may have paraded ballistic missiles as symbols of their national sovereignty or technological expertise, but they have been much more reticent about their possession of chemical (or biological) weapons. Iraq did not formally acknowledge its possession of chemical weapons until 1988.1 Despite the legality of possessing chemical (unlike biological) weapons, states have generally preferred to conceal their programmes and deny possession, implicitly accepting that a chemical arsenal lacks any prestigious connotations (a probable derivative from the many attempts to proscribe chemical and biological warfare).2 Consequently, an analysis of why states might wish to develop chemical warfare programmes, and of how they have done so, has to be primarily a deductive exercise based upon the strategic requirements of particular states, the tactical needs of their armed forces, and the utility of chemical weaponry for Third World conflicts.

Keywords

Nerve Agent Chemical Weapon Biological Weapon Reagan Administration Ballistic Missile 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes and References

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Copyright information

© Edward M. Spiers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward M. Spiers
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LeedsUK

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