Given recent controversies over suspected WMD programs in proliferating countries, there is an increasingly urgent need for effective monitoring and verifications regimes—the international mechanisms, including on-site inspections, intended to clarify the status of WMD programs in suspected proliferators. Yet the strengths and limitations of these nonproliferation and arms control mechanisms remain unclear. How should these regimes best be implemented? What are the technological, political and other limitations to these tools? What technologies and other innovations should be utilized to make these regimes most effective? How should recent policy developments, such as the 2015 Iran nuclear deal or Syria's renunciation of its chemical weapons, influence their architecture?
The Politics of Weapons Inspections examines the successes, failures, and lessons that can be learned from past WMD monitoring and verification regimes in order to help determine how best to establish and maintain such regimes in the future. In addition to examining these regimes' technological, political, and legal contexts, Nathan E. Busch and Joseph F. Pilat reevaluate the track record of monitoring and verification in the historical cases of South Africa, Libya, and Iraq; assess the prospects of these mechanisms in verifying global disarmament; and apply the lessons learned from these cases to contemporary controversies over suspected or confirmed programs in North Korea, Iran, and Syria. Finally, they provide a forward-looking set of policy recommendations for the future.
About the authors
Nathan E. Busch is Professor and Co-Director of the Center for American Studies at Christopher Newport University.
Joseph F. Pilat is Senior Advisor in National Security at Los Alamos National Laboratory, as well as Visiting Professor of Government and Guest Scholar in the Reves Center for International Studies at the College of William & Mary.