Letter: Strike on Iraq

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The relative ease with which chemical and biological warfare (CBW) production facilities can be built, concealed, dismantled and re-established means that any compromise on unrestricted access for UN weapons inspectors in Iraq would render the inspection process fatally flawed. Those who favour such a compromise are effectively allowing Saddam Hussein to preserve his residual CBW capacity and offering him the chance to continue its development.

As a result, a few years hence, Iraq may be in a position to unveil a strategic biological warfare capability sufficient to embolden Saddam to renew his geo-political ambitions in the Middle East. How would the UN Security Council then respond to Iraqi aggression? What is the likelihood of a coalition being assembled to free Kuwait once more, for example?

Opponents of decisive action now appear to believe that doing a deal with Saddam will prevent conflict in the region and that his desire to acquire weapons of mass destruction has been quenched. A more likely analysis is that his military ambitions remain and that a far greater conflagration is merely being postponed.

Dr STEPHEN PULLINGER

Executive Director

International Security Information Service

London WC2

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