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[casi] (no subject)


It doesn’t appear that the ‘new agreement’ with Iraq differs
substantially from the 2/23/98 MOU.  If the details of the agreement
as reported by today’s Times Online are accurate, the ‘new
agreement’ uses (a) the same MOU language of “immediate,
unconditional and unrestricted access”; (b) the same MOU restriction
of access to Presidential sites, that is, the adherence to “specific
detailed procedures which will be developed given the special nature
of the Presidential Sites, in accordance with the relevant resolutions
of the Security Council”.

If this is what is accepted and put into practice, I see a repeat of
late-spring – December 1998 on the horizon: inspectors go in; they
are (a) unable get enough information to determine whether or not the
Iraqi government is engaging in deception at presidential sites or
sensitive sites, or (b) they find evidence of possible deception;
pressure is applied to get Iraq to comply and open up; Iraq claims
violation of sovereignty, bad faith on the part of the United States
and UK and puts its foot down; then military action.

In my view, the US draft SCR has some strengths that the new UN-Iraq
agreement doesn’t:

(1) By establishing no-fly and no-drive zones, it limits the potential
harassment of inspectors, while at the same time, it makes it somewhat
less likely that equipment/materiel of possible interest can be
transported out the back door as inspectors come knocking at the

(2)  Again, unrestricted access to Presidential and sensitive sites
(access not limited by existing MOU language).

(3) Openness for diplomatic representation, but from P-5 Security
Council members only.  This provides the opportunity for ‘checks and
balances’ and/or insurance against accusations that the inspectors
are acting as intelligence officers.  At the same time, the '98 MOU
Special Group had diplomatic representation included (but was not
limited to): Hungary, Romania, Sudan, Brazil, Gambia, Gabon, Slovenia
– just to name a few.  Limiting it to the P-5 ensures that there are
fewer ‘in-roads’ by which Iraq can divide team member from team

(4) The American request for a weapons declaration from Iraq might
have been answered already with the provision of the four CD-ROMs.  It
is a matter of evaluating them for accuracy, possible gaps, and

(5) Finally, and I realize this will be the most contentious (and I
will admit my own political-philosophical bias as a political
realist), states listen to diplomacy when it is made clear that
military force will be used (either implied or explicitly stated).  As
with the 1998 MOU, the new/old UN-Iraq agreement has no provision for
‘what happens if Iraq chooses to comply or not comply”.  The
United States’ draft SCR at least spells out the punishment.  As I
read it, the only reference to any reward/punishment for compliance/
noncompliance in the ’98 MOU was, “The lifting of sanctions is
obviously of paramount importance to the people and Government of Iraq
and the Secretary-General undertook to bring this matter to the full
attention of the members of the Security Council.”  Not a “you
comply-we lift sanctions” contract.  I think one might make a good
argument that this intentional ‘skirting around’ the issue of
explicit reward/punishment in the ’98 MOU (whether it was
sanctions-removal or military action) contributed in large measure to
the “August crisis” in 1998 and Desert Fox. It could easily do the
same in 2003.

Interested in feedback.


Brian Auten

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