The 1991 cease-fire agreement that ended the Persian Gulf War required Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to get rid of his weapons of mass destruction, eliminate his ballistic missiles with a range of over one-hundred-fifty kilometers, and stop his nuclear weapons program. But Saddam Hussein has refused to comply with a series of United Nations resolutions requiring him to disarm.
In November, the U-N Security Council gave Iraq one last chance. But almost four months after resolution fourteen-forty-one was unanimously approved, Saddam Hussein has not complied with demands that he disarm. Saddam Hussein, said U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, “has demonstrated for twelve years that he doesn’t care what the rest of the world thinks. He intends to have weapons of mass destruction.... He will manipulate the world’s opinion. He will do everything to make it look like he is cooperating and complying, when it is obvious that he is not cooperating and complying.”
Iraq has done research on a multitude of biological agents, including anthrax, botulinum toxin, and ricin, as well as agents that cause plague, typhus, cholera, and other diseases. For twelve years, Iraq has failed to disclose the scope of its chemical and biological programs.
Furthermore, the U-N has reported that Iraq failed to account credibly for more than five-hundred mustard gas shells and R-400 aerial bombs capable of delivering biological agents. Iraq has offered little credible evidence to account for thousands of special munitions that could disseminate chemical and biological agents on its neighbors.
Iraq has admitted that its ballistic missiles exceed the one-hundred-fifty kilometer limit set by the U-N. Only now, and begrudgingly, is Iraq beginning to destroy some of its al-Samoud missiles. And Iraq has repeatedly tried to procure aluminum tubes that could be modified for use with equipment to enrich uranium for use in nuclear weapons.
Mr. Powell said that he knows, as a former soldier, “having been in war, having led men into war and sent men to war, that sometimes you can’t find a peaceful solution and then the force of arms must be used.” The U.S., as Secretary of State Powell put it, “is prepared to lead a coalition of the willing...either under U-N authority or without U-N authority...in order to disarm [Saddam Hussein].”