Monday, September 09, 2002

I tend to agree with the Globe and Mail's interpretation of the IISS study... it's contradictory. On the one hand, Saddam supposedly has the ability to create the nuclear devices, but he hasn't got any fissile material, any ability to create it, or any ability to acquire it, which kind of makes his nuclear program a big bust. (It's a nice make-work program for Iraqi military engineers, but other than that...) If he gets it from someone else then he might be able to make a bomb... but then again, considering what you could find on the Internet these days, most of you could probably make a bomb were you to have the fissile material.

As for chemical and biological weapons, it's somewhat less contradictory, although IISS thinks that Saddam has less than a dozen missiles that could actually get to Israel in the first place, and it's anybody's guess as to whether the bloody things would work... and apparently owing to their "impact fuses", they'd do a damned poor job of it anyway. They also say that Saddam has maintained stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, but I do wonder about Ritter's critique of that point of view... that most chemical and biological weapons degrade and that he hasn't had the ability to produce them. Dead biological weapons aren't too scary, and inert chemicals less still. I'd like to read the reasons why the IISS believes that Saddam has production capabilities, and how and why they believe that he could "resume producing both (biological and chemical weapons) within weeks or months", as the G&M said.

To be honest, I just want to read the damned thing myself. Anybody got a URL?

(I guess now we get to wait until Bush makes his big speech.)

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