This new analysis, by the Carnegie team who helped write Iraq: A New Approach, last fall’s groundbreaking report that helped define the current inspections regime, provides a concise outline of the concerns over Iraq’s missile, nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons capabilities that inspectors are investigating. It addresses the effectiveness of intelligence sharing, site visits, the inspectors’ use of advanced technology, and Iraq’s willingness to cooperate. The report argues that a realistic timeframe for inspections is another year for the discovery process, followed by dismantlement and permanent monitoring.

Among its conclusions: Far from being exhausted, the inspections process has just begun. Inspections should be pursued without ruling out future use of force. Iraq’s lack of full cooperation is a material breach, but not a casus belli. As the report argues, "Disarmament achieved without a war would be an enormous—and enormously popular—achievement." In the meantime, "Saddam Hussein is effectively incarcerated and under watch by a force that could respond immediately and devastatingly to his aggression." However, if the aim is not, in fact, disarmament but regime change as a matter of principle, "then the inspection and disarmament processes now underway are largely irrelevant."

About the Authors
Joseph Cirincione is a senior associate and director of the Carnegie Non-Proliferation Project. Jessica T. Mathews is president of the Carnegie Endowment, and George Perkovich is its Vice President for Studies.

Miriam Rajkumar is a project associate and Marshall Breit is a research assistant with the Non-Proliferation Project. Dipali Mukhopadhyay is the project's Junior Fellow.