equipment and technology specially designed for chemical weapons production have not been identified.

The secretariat will include an inspection function for signatories, but the specific form that inspections will take—routine, challenge, ad hoc—is still under discussion. The possibility of inspection for nonsignatories receiving chemical weapons precursors also is under discussion. A number of nations participating in these negotiations are working hard to avoid the awkward three-part grouping of official-haves, unofficial-haves, and have-nots that has characterized the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Several problems are associated with controlling the export of chemical weapons precursors. For example, the fungibility of chemicals and the ease with which civilian manufacturing plants can be converted to chemical weapons plants limit the effectiveness of export controls. In addition, there is no standard method of controlling the export of identified precursors, either under the Australia Group or CWC, which also reduces the effectiveness of the controls and creates serious commercial inequalities.

Further, it is unclear how export controls might be employed in the event that a country is determined to possess or to be developing chemical weapons. The matter of collective sanctions for violating the terms of the CWC, or U.S. sanctions for violating the terms of the U.S. export license, must be resolved. Given the demonstrated willingness of some countries to use chemical weapons and the potential impact of such use on the world community, collective sanctions for possessing or developing chemical weapons should be established in the immediate future.

There is reason to be concerned that export controls related to the CWC, as well as the reporting requirements of the treaty, could impose significant economic costs on the chemical industry. Thus, it is important to ensure that the resulting system strikes an appropriate balance between the objective of limiting proliferation and the imposition of costs on the world's process chemical industry and to ensure that the actual operation of the system is equitable.

Recommendations for Specific Changes in Proliferation Control Regimes

With respect to specific proliferation control regimes, the United States should undertake the following:

  • Prepare both a U.S. and multilateral approach to the problem of states that have become nuclear but that are currently treated as nonnuclear under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement