Cover image for Saddams secrets : the hunt for Iraq's hidden weapons
Saddams secrets : the hunt for Iraq's hidden weapons
Trevan, Tim.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London : HarperCollins ; North Pomfret, VT : distributed by Trafalgar Square, [1999]

Physical Description:
xii, 448 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 20 cm
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JX1977.2.I7 T7 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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The author of this text, Tim Trevan, was a key British participant (1992-1995) in UNSCOM's investigation of Iraqi chemical and biological sites. In his narrative, he shows how UNSCOM dealt with Iraq's devious, despotic regime: the early frustrations encountered because of Iraq's lying and obstruction; the personal and professional qualities the inspectors had to develop; the techniques and technologies they employed; the personal difficulties and dangers of the job; and their ingenuity in tackling problems.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

The British author spent several years as a key member of UNSCOMÄthe United Nations Special Commission for Iraq, tasked with monitoring and enforcing Iraq's dismantling of its capacity to produce weapons of mass destruction. In addition to an informative narrative of the U.N.'s frustrating attempts to limit Saddam's weapons program, Trevan offers a valuable perspective on U.N. bureaucracy at a time when the organization is trying to assert its power and influence around the world. He describes the personal dynamics that replace national loyalties; the emphasis on negotiating finesse and the careful parsing of written agreements; the heavy dependence on leaks, back-channeling and spin. From the beginning, Iraqi officials placed every possible obstacle in UNSCOM's path. The deception and evasions were, in Trevan's view, as brazen as they were comprehensive. In the resulting game of "catch us if you can," UNSCOMÄwith significant help from Israeli intelligenceÄscored its share of limited, specific successes. In Trevan's final analysis, however, the triumphs were ephemeral as Saddam Hussein continued his weapons research programs, inconvenienced but unthwarted. Not surprisingly, Trevan concludes that "Iraq was not interested in cooperating with UNSCOM." To the book's fundamental questionÄhow can democracies force a hostile nondemocracy to "be good" without compromising democratic principles?ÄTrevan offers some answers in an epilogue. He argues for an increasing transfer of both sovereignty and power to international organizations, specifically the U.N. In fact, despite Saddam's success in dodging UNSCOM, Trevan considers UNSCOM a paradigm: "excellent people bound by a strong culture of achievement and attention to detail." (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved