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Limiting arms, enforcing limits: International inspections and the challenges of compellance in Germany post-1919, Iraq post-1991

Taylor & Francis
Publication Date
  • Jz International Relations
  • Ds Asia
  • U Military Science (General)
  • Dc France
  • Dd Germany
  • Memory
  • Text And Place
  • Subjects Outside Of The University Themes


This article compares efforts to curb German military power after 1919 with attempts to limit that of Iraq after 1991. It argues that incomplete defeat in each case, compounded by disputes among the victors (exploited by the Germans and Iraqis) undermined a long-term maintenance of each settlement.UNSCOM’s problems in Iraq in the 1990s replicated much of what had hamstrung the IMCC in Germany in the 1920s. Crucial was the lack of autonomous intelligence and verification capabilities, enabling the targeted regimes to defy inspections, whilst challenging the impartiality and legitimacy of the enforcers. Facing devious and unrepentant adversaries, both inspection regimes survived barely seven years. In both cases a second war would ensue against the non-compliers – Germany in 1939, Iraq in 2003.

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