The Use of Chemical Weapons in Warfare: Insights from Archives and Battlefields
Center on Contemporary Conflict
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There are no unclassified analyses of Iraqi decision making about chemical weapon use in the 1980s. Based on newly available documentation from Ba’athist Iraq, this project will produce the first publicly available study. The project will investigate Iraq’s chemical weapons decision making in 1988 in order to produce a monograph that draws insights from the Iraq case study that are applicable to understanding Syria’s recent chemical atrocities. The use of unparalleled documentation on Iraq’s chemical weapon decision-making in 1988 makes this a uniquely rich case study. The project will seek to answer three research questions: First, under what conditions do leaders decide to gas domestic groups? Second, how much leverage does the United States have to deter a country from employing chemical weapons? Third, if the United States chooses not to take strong action, will this embolden the aggressor state to engage in more undesirable behavior?
Performer: Georgia Tech Research Corporation Project Lead: Lawrence Rubin Project Cost: $72,002 FY16–17
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