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The Cold War and AfterHistory, Theory, and the Logic of International Politics$
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Marc Trachtenberg

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691152028

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691152028.001.0001

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The Iraq Crisis and the Future of the Western Alliance

The Iraq Crisis and the Future of the Western Alliance

Chapter:
(p.281) Chapter Nine The Iraq Crisis and the Future of the Western Alliance
Source:
The Cold War and After
Author(s):

Marc Trachtenberg

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691152028.003.0009

This chapter considers the various issues raised in the run-up to the Iraq War. It asks: How much of a problem would the development of a mass destruction capability by a regime like that of Iraq in 2002 have actually posed? Wouldn't the development of an Iraqi nuclear capability have led to mutual deterrence and thus to a relatively stable strategic relationship? To the extent that an Iraqi capability of this sort would have posed serious problems, couldn't the Iraqis have been prevented permanently from developing such forces through nonmilitary means? Couldn't an inspection regime have done the trick? And if the control regime wasn't up to the job, would it be legitimate for a country to act essentially on its own, without first getting explicit U.N. Security Council authorization? Was unilateral action impermissible under international law, and is a country that dealt with the problem in that way to be branded a law-breaker?

Keywords:   United States, foreign relations, foreign policy, defense policy, weapons of mass destruction, international law

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