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3 - Spinning in place

Iraq’s fruitless quest for nuclear weapons

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Jacques E. C. Hymans
Affiliation:
University of Southern California
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Summary

In Chapter 2, I introduced my basic theoretical explanation of nuclear weapons project efficiency as a consequence of the top leadership’s approach to management and, behind that, of the institutionalization of the state. Now, to assess the empirical value of the theory, I turn to a first in-depth historical case study: Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

In 1991, after Iraq’s defeat in the first Gulf War, UN inspectors were shocked to discover that Saddam’s regime had mounted an intense, 10-year, billion-dollar quest for the bomb right under the nose of the IAEA. Indeed, not long before the truth came out, IAEA Director of Safeguards Jon Jennekens had even praised the country for its “exemplary” conformity to its NPT commitments. The revelations of Iraq’s misdeeds also tarnished the reputation of the US intelligence community, which turned out to have been “totally unaware of more than 50 percent of all the major nuclear weapons installations in Iraq.” This was an intelligence failure of the first order.

Type
Chapter
Information
Achieving Nuclear Ambitions
Scientists, Politicians, and Proliferation
, pp. 79 - 123
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2012

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  • Spinning in place
  • Jacques E. C. Hymans, University of Southern California
  • Book: Achieving Nuclear Ambitions
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139049429.004
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  • Spinning in place
  • Jacques E. C. Hymans, University of Southern California
  • Book: Achieving Nuclear Ambitions
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139049429.004
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Spinning in place
  • Jacques E. C. Hymans, University of Southern California
  • Book: Achieving Nuclear Ambitions
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139049429.004
Available formats
×