For more information contact:
Bernard Gourley, Sam Nunn School of International Affairs
Contact Bernard Gourley SNSP@INTA.GATECH.EDU
Kosal on Biological Weapons Verification in the 21st Century
7th Biological Weapons Convention Review Conference (September 15, 2011) —
As part of the BioWeapons Prevention Project (BWPP)’s RevCon Project, INTA Assistant Professor Margaret E. Kosal was invited to contribute to a series of invited online discussions on issues related to the 7th Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) Review Conference.
Her commentary on “The role of biological verification as part of 21st century international security strategy” was published last week (http://www.bwpp.org/revcon-verification.html). In the article, she explores the role (and limitations) of biological weapons verification, particularly in context of the UN-backed UNSCOM and UNMOVIC verification missions to Iraq following the first Gulf War and the relationship of those efforts to the decision to invade Iraq in March 2003. The relationship of biological verification to broader strategic postures, such as deterrence, is also considered.
Kosal writes “during the time UNSCOM and UNMOVIC were operating in Iraq there was no evidence of new biological weapons research or development. At the same time, the limits of monitoring and onsite verification were substantive and significant enough in the minds of people inside and outside of political institutions â€“ on both sides of the Atlantic â€“ to generate doubt and uncertainty. The US and those allies who supported Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) hedged on the side on uncertainty. If one wants verification to be strategically significant a priori rather than post-invasion, resolving those uncertainties and making them significant for the broader strategic context must be achieved.”
BioWeapons Prevention Project
Margaret E. Kosal (bio)
The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the nation's premier research universities. Ranked seventh among U.S. News & World Report's top public universities, Georgia Tech's more than 20,000 students are enrolled in its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Tech is among the nation's top producers of women and minority engineers. The Institute offers research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary units plus the Georgia Tech Research Institute.